I'm spending this lovely weekend slaving over a Web project that mentions irritable bowel syndrome a lot, but I keep typing the name of my new disease instead. So I thought I'd spread the word.
This syndrome affects a small but growing percentage of new parents. It messes with their minds, inspiring them to give their babies weird or misspelled names with the wrong vowels: Micheal. Meshelle. Susyn. Britney. "Kirsten," instead of the far more melodic and natural-sounding "Kristen." In rare cases, it can affect consonants, too. I once met an American college student, named Gillian, whose parents didn't realize that the "G" of this lovely British name is soft. As in "gaol." I bet her friends thought her name was a feminine variation on "Gilligan."
This illness can force your child to be a hapless pawn in a society that instantly recognizes, upon hearing his name, that his parents were barely in high school when he was born.
There are only experimental treatments for irritable vowel syndrome. For the best outcome, designate someone with a functioning brain to choose a name for the baby. Parents who don't have access to a brain should purchase a used Names for Your Baby book from no later than 1967 and stick to it.