We’ve all heard the word minimalism used to describe things like literature, art, music, fashion, architecture and interior design. But did you know that minimalism is also a lifestyle?
It’s simple living, basically. Modern minimalists aim to simplify their lives by retaining only what is essential/important, then getting rid of the rest.
Why am I talking about minimalism here?
I’ve noticed a few discussions online about “minimalist baby names.” I’ve also noticed that these discussions are often focused on very short first names.
I had three thoughts about this.
First, isn’t applying minimalism to baby-naming a bit…silly? Maybe it’s just me. If you want a short name, why not just say you want a short name? No need to bring minimalism into it.
Second, the “very short first name” interpretation misses the point of minimalism (the lifestyle). Minimalism isn’t about absolute minimums, but about minimizing complexity.
Third, the interpretation is also needlessly restrictive. There aren’t many super-short names out there, but there are plenty of longer names that fit the bill just fine. Why overlook them?
Here’s what I would suggest to expectant minimalists:
Skip the Middle Name
Everyone ought to have a first name and a last name nowadays. Life gets complicated if you’re lacking either one or the other. But a middle name? Very few people need a middle name. Middle names are non-essential.
So, instead of giving your baby a first name and a middle name–or, worse, multiple middle names–just stick to a first name. Anything more isn’t really necessary. [Bonus: This should also simplify the process of naming your baby appreciably.]
Think Utilization, Not Length
Knox, Hugh, Anne, Emma. They’re short names, but they contain superfluous letters. They’re more complex than they need to be. You could spell them Nox, Hu, An and Ema and arrive at the same pronunciations. Not great examples of minimalism.
Now take Alexander, Benjamin, Penelope, Victoria. They’re long names, but they don’t contain silent letters or redundancy. Each letter in these names has a purpose, and the names are just as long as they need to be, no longer. Much better examples of minimalism.
What thoughts do you have on this topic? (Any minimalists out there with an opinion?)