Fads: Suffer the Little Children

Fashions in names change as perceptibly as hemlines or tailfins, and more and more parental energy is being consumed in naming the baby — a process once automatically determined by saints and ancestors. Some current fashions: ¶ For the boys,revived Celtic names seem to be the thing: Kevin. Sean, Colin, Brian, Keith. Lynn, a variation of the Gaelic word for waterfall, is a favorite for girls.

¶ Variant spellings are riding high in pop larity as a way to give special distinction to familiar — and some not so familiar —names. Anna becomes Annie or Annya, Laurie becomes Lori,...

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