Dec. 1, 2010 at 3:09 PM ET
Good news for anyone who obsessed over picking the exactly right name for your baby – it was time well spent, experts say. Names have always communicated social meaning, but this article explains how the growing diversity in the U.S. name pool means that baby names communicate more information than ever about the parents’ taste and background.
"We're in the middle of a naming revolution," said Laura Wattenberg, author of the popular book "The Baby Name Wizard" (Three Rivers Press, 2005) and creator of the website BabyNameWizard.com. "Parents are putting a much higher premium on distinctiveness."
"The more diverse naming styles become, the more we are going to read into somebody's name," Wattenberg said.
And speaking of name choices, one Toronto mom-to-be just couldn’t decide what to name her baby girl – so she put it to a vote on Facebook. As of Wednesday afternoon, the leading contenders are Aria, Onyx and Melania. It could be worse: rounding out the top 10 are Astralhaze and Oswald.
What do you think of the growing diversity in baby names? Do you love hearing about baby Madisons and Braydens (and Astralhazes) or do you long for a return to the days of John and Mary?
Vote, and bonus points if you tell us your favorite boy's and girl's names in the comments!