Hi Jennifer,

I was wondering your opinion on using names with non-traditional spellings. My name is spelled in a non-traditional way: Karlee instead of Carly. I am almost always called Kaylee or Callie when first meeting people; not to mention I have to spell out my first name or have it spelled wrong every time. Even after I have told people how to spell my name they still spell it wrong (even family members)! Honestly, it can be a bit frustrating at times. I know my case isn’t as drastic as some such as Emmalie for Emily or Cidnee for Sydney. Just to clarify I’m not against changing a letter or two, and I’m not saying everybody has to be the same either. I just think sometimes people go too far with it. I would love to hear your insight on this. Thanks so much!

Sincerely,

Carly with a K and two EE’s

Dear Karlee,

Personally, I hate them. Professionally, I hate them. For the reasons that you stated, above. When I approach a name professionally, I approach it from the perspective of the child–the person who will bear the name for the rest of his or her life. Can the name be a burden on the child? And how much of a burden? Will he/she have to spell it for people their entire lives?

Some people with (what I call) “Kreatyve Names” say that they like their different spelling. That it makes them unique. But most of them say they only learned to accept it as an adult. As a child, it was a burden.

If you want a unique name, choose a unique name. Don’t choose a popular name and misspell it. Life is hard enough for kids. Any comments from Kreatyve namers or namees?

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Jennifer Moss is the founder of BabyNames.com, Author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

She entered the tech arena in the early 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer runs her own web development agency in the California mountains.