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Couple Must Choose Between Practical and Unusual Names for Children

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have decided to start a family, and the topic of names arose. My wife, who was born and raised in India, is insisting on Indian names for our children. The problem is they are often difficult to pronounce and spell. I'm not opposed to Indian middle names, but think traditional "Western" names may be more suitable, since we will live in the United States. How can I make my wife understand that having "unusual" names makes certain aspects of kids' lives more difficult? -- MAKING LIFE EASY

DEAR MAKING: Your wife's concept of giving the children Indian names is lovely. However, practically speaking, I agree with you. Popular names in one country can cause problems for a child living in another one. Not only can foreign names be difficult to pronounce and spell, but they can also cause a child to be teased unmercifully. Sometimes the name can be a problematic word in the English language. And one that sounds beautiful in a foreign language can be grating in English.

I hope your wife will rethink this. Why saddle a kid with a name he or she will have to explain or correct with friends, teachers and fellow employees from childhood into adulthood?

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