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11.29.2008

obama changes the name game

This is an interesting article on the power of a name: A president named Obama changes the name game. It suggests that the idea of an "American" name will expand beyond names like Tom and Harry and Sally and Jane and Smith and Jones... thanks to a guy named Barack Hussein Obama.

I think many of my Asian American brothers and sisters will probably relate to this, having lived in the United States with an "untraditional" name like Soojin or Vivek or Kosuke. You've had to deal weird stares and misunderstandings all your life, or have been made to feel less American, and maybe even sometimes wished for a more "American"-sounding name.

But perhaps now, the election of President Barack Obama will change that. The more people hear it, the more mainstream it becomes, making room for other names that don't quite so sound so British. I mean, come on, who is more American than the President of the United States? Soon, Chethan, you can stop telling the guy working at Starbucks that your name is Jason.