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Baby-naming Socialism


Tags Media and CultureInterventionism


Oh how one could wish this came from The Onion:

Metallica may be a cool name for a heavy metal band, but a Swedish couple is struggling to convince officials it is also suitable for a baby girl.
Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with Swedish authorities, which rejected their application to name their six-month-old child after the legendary rock band.
"It suits her," Karolina Tomaro, 27, said Tuesday of the name. "She's decisive and she knows what she wants."
Although little Metallica has already been baptized, the Swedish National Tax Board refused to register the name, saying it was associated with both the rock group and the word "metal."
Tomaro said the official handling the case also called the name "ugly."

One could make jokes about the name "Metallica" (I would have chosen "Iron Maiden" instead), but it's both terribly sad and tyrannical that the state now claims to have a better title to baby-naming rights. Not only that, but the parents cannot travel outside the country with their baby until the government gives them a passport. But let's not dispair; it's all for their own good.



I am told by a friend that the government of Buenos Aires has an approved list of names. Parents who pick names that are not on the official list might not get a birth certificate (not that this would be a bad thing...). A Google search seems to confirm this (try the cache if it's too slow):


Here are some of the regulations (in Spanish). The first prohibition is of particular interest:

1) Names that are extravagant, ridiculous, contrary to our customs, or that express political or ideological tendencies, or that incite errors respecting the gender of the person being named.

Looks like "Metallica" won't make it in Buenos Aires either. Another catastrophe has been prevented.

Manuel Lora is a multimedia producer at Cornell University.

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