Chloe Milne: What’s In A Name?

By Chloe Milne

Since arriving in my new home, New York City, I have had plenty of awkward situations. Most of which have arisen from the differences between New Zealand and America, for example, my attempt to get into the airport shuttle (full of people) from the driver’s door, when I tried to order cheddar cheese at Subway (apparently it’s called American cheese) and when I forgot Celsius means nothing to Americans, and told the bank teller that 32 degrees was just too hot.

The worst was possibly when I, “Kylie Milney,” was called over the loudspeaker in IKEA, to come and retrieve my hostel room keys, which I had lost whilst “checking the firmness” of the beds. I am pretty used to having my name pronounced incorrectly, but while living in the States for the past wee while it has become apparent just how hard to pronounce it is.  Any incorrect pronunciation of “Milne” you can think of, including “Mylne,” “Milney” and my favourite “Milan,” I have heard. As much as I love the name “Chloe” when you say it quickly with “Milne” it runs together like the New York Subway, no matter what accent you are saying it in. No wonder A. A. Milne decided to drop the other letters.

In his famous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” Dale Carnegie wrote that everyone’s favourite word is their own name. If that’s true then naming someone is a huge responsibility.

With so much talk of the Royal and other famous babies I’ve been paying more attention to names. One of my close friends recently had a little girl who she named

“Ella,” which I think is just lovely. There are plenty of other baby names, however, that are not so lovely. Some celebrities just seem determined to have their children stick out like sore, but famous, thumbs, by giving them nutty names like Apple, Blanket, Sunday Roast… I mean Rose, or my favorite, Pilot Inspektor (yes, that is a real name).

The worst of course, is the latest addition to the “krazy” Kardashian family, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West’s little baby who is supposedly named “North West.” Yes, they named their child a compass direction, which as my Dad said, “sounds a bit windy”. Apparently the name “North” is a reference to “up,” because there is nowhere north of north. While it’s true that there is nowhere north of north,anyone with a vague sense of awareness knows that “north” and “up” are not the same thing; one is where the clouds are, and the other a heading on a compass.

As much as I got excited when I discovered last night I was in a bar where Miss Kardashian herself had been, I don’t think there could be anything worse than having Kim, queen of the sex tape, as a mother, especially with her naming skills.

Fortunately North West is slightly better than Patricia Niss, Richard Small, Roger Sole and Wayne King, who all must have had a hard time at school.

Perhaps Milne isn’t that bad after all.