“Forget the P’s and Q’s: Mind your C’s and K’s, A Cautionary Note for Prospective Parents,” by John S. Walters

Jul 18th, 2018 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

I am a lifelong liberal of good standing, with impeccable credentials. On one issue, however, I am an unabashed Goldwater conservative. If there’s one thing that raises my ancient hackles, it’s whenever I see the names Cathy and Casey defiled with a K. Why do parents of the newborn err so egregiously? Why favor the fraudulent over the authentic, particularly in matters of enduring importance?

Child naming is nearly as important as child rearing. Your baby deserves and requires a solid footing–upon which to place those little booties. Why place baby straightaway into life’s quagmire with a thoughtlessly applied K?

Eschew Kasey and Katherine; embrace Casey and Catherine. Welcome your newborn babe, Carly, with a songbook and a tiny guitar; relegate Karli to a beloved pet–or even a pet merely tolerated. Set your Carl on a path to eat his vegetables unforced, to become an engine of industry, to excel in his chosen endeavors. It’s far too often that Karl taps out at Cinnabon, the foolishly inserted K thwarting his ambition.

Applying the inauthentic K to an innocent child demonstrates not only a proclivity to cruelty but also an inability to make the simplest of discernments, casting serious doubt on the fitness for parenthood.

History abundantly reveals that the leading C serves as the impetus to greatness. Consider the solid, substantial, character inducing Catherine, which not only pleases aesthetically but also foreshadows the fulfillment of great expectations. Look no farther than the Empress of all the Russias: Catherine The Great brings enlightenment; Catherine builds empires; Catherine governs judiciously.

Unlike Catherine, whom nobody dares make muck of, Katherine, diminished in character by the leading K, succumbs to the deceits of a Frenchman who squanders her fortune on a life of debauchery, a tragedy all too familiar to the K’s.

The leading K inclines Katherine to capitulate rather than to rally from life’s slings and arrows. Defeated, Katherine takes up with boy-bunned douchebag, Kasey. Together, they anchor the grave shift at the local Maverick.

Casey, on the other hand, is the stuff of American icons, as in Jones, the heroic railroad engineer and Stengel, the Hall of Fame Yankee skipper. Catherine and Casey occupy positions of great authority. Esteemed and feted by professional associations, envied by colleagues, adored by pets, admired even by their enemies, Catherine and Casey bring honor to their families, particularly to mom and dad who named these kids so felicitously. In sharp contrast, Kasey and Katherine languish in establishments notorious for their minimum wage, where flinty-eyed cretins spend inordinate amounts of time.

To review: use the C generously, the K sparingly, preferably inserting it at the tail end, where k’s properly belong, as in Mark. Additional fundamental principles of child naming follow. Avoid names that contain an imperative to emulate. These names attach themselves exclusively to persons of extraordinary singularity. No child should have to bear the unconscionable burden of “Abraham.” As if tacitly copyrighted, Abraham belongs to Lincoln, as “Joni” belongs to Mitchell. Like the numbers and jerseys of storied athletes, the names “Abraham” and “Joni” should be retired from circulation, forevermore.

Don’t despair, prospective parents. The public domain abounds with terrific names to choose from, names that while spurring greatness allow for occasional failure. Catherine and Casey are two such names. “Abraham,” which demands unflagging excellence, is not. For those parents intent on the prefix, “Ab,” may I suggest “Abner.” It’s easier to be li’l than to carry the weight of the world, only to take a bullet in the head.


John Spencer Walters is old and tired and sustained only by the prospect of impeachment proceedings commencing in 2019.

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