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Surge in Avatar names suggests few have read Freakonomics

By J. DeVoy

Parents are rushing to name their children after today’s latest flash-in-the-pan pop sensation, Avatar.  Unfortunately, it’ll bite them squarely in the ass in two decades.  From UK’s The Sun:

Choices include Neytiri – after the film’s Na’vi warrior-princess – and giant flying creature Toruk.

To well-read or even vaguely aware people who haven’t seen the movie, these names are painfully derivative.  Neytiri — eerily similar to Nefertiti, Egyptian Queen — will be today’s equivalent of Britney, Stacey or Jenna in 2030.  As for Toruk, these parents are naming their children after a giant flying creature, which should be enough of an indictment on their likely parenting skills.  But Toruk is also a letter transposition away from being Turok, the protagonist of an unremarkable video game franchise about killing dinosaurs.  The real lesson: Unforgivably lazy writing can still net millions of dollars in revenue.

Another favourite is Pandora, name of the blockbuster flick’s fictional planet.  Pandora is tipped as top choice among US fans, with UK parents set to follow.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Pandora still carries erotic overtones; indeed, it is the name that launched a thousand strip clubs.

That parents chose these names is unsurprising; unorthodox names are often the symptom, not the cause of an inadequate upbringing.  That same upbringing, however, is the harbinger of future failure.  The sheer number of people being born with these names is also unsurprising, as low-IQ people have more children than those with higher IQs.  The same lack of future-time orientation that led to them having a large family also inhibits their ability to give their children sensible names from media with more staying power like Lord of the Rings or The Bible.

Maybe in the future when Neytiris and Toruks run society, Johns and Marks will suffer the consequences.  And maybe hell will freeze.

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