At first, for me, it was the young adult genre. Then, suddenly, it was the celebrities on TV and in the glossy tabloids you find at gas stations all over the country. Then, somehow, it has now become my next-door-neighbors and their questionable, mange-ridden cat.
With the rising popularity of names like Katniss, Four, Renesmee, Blue, North, Saint and Facebook (yeah, that one, amirite?), I’d like to profess my love for all of the Bills, Toms, Marys and Sarahs out there. But hold on just a minute before you let my words offend you, because, you see, while I do understand the appeal of exotic names for your characters and the thereby implied uniqueness of one’s character – hell, I’ve done it before myself – I have to say that I no longer understand why the name of a character has come to matter almost more than the traits of a character. I suppose that this is not always the case, but it certainly is a case from where I’m standing. Characters must be relatable. Perhaps this is why unique names have become so popular both in fiction and in real life – two worlds that mirror one another. Regardless, I would feel much more gratified, much more wholesome, if I wasn’t bombarded with Cease Everlights and Wyrth Starstrobes every time I opened a random book in the shop down the street. But, before I get ahead of myself, I suppose that this topic truly ties into a much larger debate. In a world that preaches uniqueness and individuality, and this rightly so, must there not be a limit?
When does uniqueness, like any other thing of great mass and appeal, become standard?
When does unique become the new normal – or does it ever?