What the F?
"It is the National Tax Board's view".
??? What the hell kind of say should the tax board have in naming your own child??? Yeah its a stupid name, but surely it should be up to you whatever you want to call your kids?
A Stockholm couple is battling the tax authorities for the right to call their five-month-old daughter Elvis, The Local reports. The girl's mum, Linda, explained: "We talked about lots of names and then Elvis popped up. We thought it was a name that was both pretty and gender-neutral. We're not Elvis Presley fans at all." The …
Why don't we have a government department that passes names as acceptable or not? They could do it just before logging the child's DNA into the big database. In fact why just allocate the name to the child when it's born then parents wouldn't have to think at all. We could restrict the names to 8 characters maximum length to save on disk space. In fact with the list of acceptable names and a bit of normalisation we could really save on disk space. We'll need to when oil reaches $1,000 a barrel. Oh, yes lots of oil involved in disk drive manufacture, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. What's that? Time for the red pill, ok.
Don't Sweden have sex discrimination laws. For the authorities to even suggest that any name is masculine or feminine is discriminatory. If you want to call your kid Elvis, Chardonnay or Moon Unit then the child should have the right to sue the parents for the years of abuse s/he is bound to suffer as a result, but that's a civil matter, the authorities shouldn't get involved.
So how do the Swedes feel about the current crop of annoyingly trendy names being assigned to unfortunate newborns in the States? Names like "Hunter", "Taylor", "McKenzie", "Riley" being given to girls, to mention only a few? I don't much care for Elvis for a girl, but at least it's original... Somehow I can't imagine making love to a woman and calling out "Oh McKenzie! You're so wonderful!" ...although I suppose my opinion might change depending on the hotness of her and situation involved...
What about "Paris?" Paris has always been a unisex name... Beats naming your kid "Albuquerque"...
The assumption is that what is odd ( = 'unacceptable' for some people) today will be regarded in the same way tomorrow.
Odd how inflexible and shortsighted some people can be.
The other point is that, as the parents indicated, they will continue to call their daughter Elvis no matter what the 'official' requirement may be - thus the Swedish gov could minutely increase the gap between the official view and lives as actually lived and thus could, minutely, increase the level of disrespect and disregard for government.
Doesn't 'Swede' = Turnip in Britain?
A few years back I lived in Switzerland for a year or so, in the Canton of Zurich. A friend of my wife's had a baby girl. Being American, they expected to be able to call their daughter what they liked. They chose something very bizarre and totally 'out there'. They chose "AnneMarie". This made the authorities very cross. The name had to be "Anne-Marie" or "Annemarie", it couldn't have a capital M.
After many thousands of CHFs on legal fees they did prevail in the end. And I know they have these rules to prevent unfortunates being called Purble-Berry Ding Wallah Moonbeam Zot but it does get a bit 'in your face' at times. My wife was pregnant with twins at the time and we were given an official form to list our preferences of names, five male and five female for each twin, to be submitted months before the due date and to allow the babies to registered quickly. The official name list was Swiss German, of course. Being British (me) and Irish (my wife) we please to be told that for foreigners names from our family backgrounds would be considered.
We came home; we couldn't be bothered to argue.
Either we are to have gender equality or not. The next step will be when the Authorities decree that for the sake of cultural diversity we can't use names from an ethnic group we don't belong to. (Unless they came out of George Lucas film).
Daft name for a girl, tho. In English Elvis != elves, whichever way you look at it.
The tax board (Skatteverket) here in Sweden has a load of extra jobs as well as just dealing with taxes. Among other things they're responsible for population registration.
See (in English):
Isn't a city "le" in french? As in the masculine pronoun?
How about if you named her after "Plaster of Paris" 'cos your dad was a plasterer? Is that male or female?
Since the moon is normally construed to have feminine connotations, are only girls allowed to be called "Moon Unit"? Or, since that could mean the Lunar Lander Module (a technical device, and hence geek and hence male associations), can only boys be named so?
Now when it comes to common names in English, they have no common meaning in a foreign langage (think back to the Windows trademark suit that had to go to Finland before MS didn't get kicked immediately to the curb because in finland "windows" had no meaning and so wasn't generic and unprotectable), how can a foreign name (Elvis) mean "masculine"?
Me, I'd tell the taxman to FO. If they want to name my child, then can pay for child support.
The parents are obviously *nix users and fall on the "vi" side of the vi vs. emacs divide.
They couldn't name their daughter vi, or nvi, or vim, or vile, but chose elvis as the vi "flavor" to name their daughter after and indicate their preferred text editor..
Mine's the one with the colon print and the <esc> keys in the pocket.
Talk about abuses of civil liberties? What about unisex names? Or non-traditional ones?
Whats next? After the birth the government just ISSUES names?
As far as I know, the only ones we can't use are strings of numbers, and not because its inappropriate. I suspect the record keeping systems won't take numerics in the entry fields.
I know that names get silly, "Mr. Microsoft Zune" being a great example, but you can't pass laws against looking foolish, or who would run for public office?
"...the child should have the right to sue the parents for the years of abuse s/he is bound to suffer as a result, but that's a civil matter, the authorities shouldn't get involved."
Perhaps you believe female circumcision is acceptable as well? What about locking a child in the basement? Forcing male children to wear dresses in public? Forcing children to wear signs that say "I'm worthless" or "I'm unwanted"? Believe it or not, there are people who think it's a good idea to prevent psychological trauma, not simply attempt to treat it once it has already occurred.
The authorities have the responsibility of protecting their citizens, ALL of their citizens. This is one issue in which the "think of the children" line can be legitimately applied. A child that grows up under constant ridicule and teasing will grow up with great hatred and rage for nearly everyone, and that hatred and rage will most likely manifest itself in violent outbursts.
The Swedish Tax board is also the overseer of the Swedish Census bureau (folkbokföringen). There is a rule, if you will, that states: "A first name must not be construed as offensive to the public or cause undue distress to the child. Furthermore, it cannot have the distinct characteristics of a last name." (http://www.skatteverket.se/folkbokforing/ovrigt/namn.4.18e1b10334ebe8bc80004083.html)
In other words, the government knows what's best for you and your child.
"For thirty years I have plotted to bring down the party. I am sick in mind and body." - 1984
"Your child" doesn't belong to you, they are your offspring, but right from the start they are another human being. There are a long list of things which a child should be protected against until they are able to make their own decision, there is also a long list of things where the parents should not be permitted to ridicule their own child. You might get away with calling your daughter Peaches if you are uber rich and able to shield them from the realities of life, but a girl called Elvis in a normal comprehensive school in the UK would be eaten alive. The Swedish are simply providing a robust system for protecting a child from ridiculous ideas of parents. A name is for life, not just for Christmas. How would you like it if your parents decided to brand you, tattoo you, or get lots of piercings when you were young? All those things are acceptable in some cultures, would you be happy with it? How about if your parents decided to get you addicted to nicotine young, or just decided to indoctrinate you in their wacko religion? Lot's of things can class as child abuse. Ridiculous names are one of the lesser ones, but they are still pretty abusive.
The Beckhams when living in Madrid called their newly-born son "Cruz" which is a girl's name - in Spain traditonally used - like "Dolores" meaning pain - after a difficult birth.
The birth wasn't reportedly painful but guess the old brain cells were suffering, you Perfect Couple you.
Fair enough. However, how do you put someone in the census without a name? How do you put a child (before they are adult enough to choose their own name) into school?
'course it should be much more easy to change your christian name when you want than currently it is, so when your hippie parents called you "Moon Unit" you can change it to "Harold", or when your chav parents called you "Tiffany" you can change your name to "Alice".
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