DEAR ABBY: I work in a public library, where I deal with a lot of children and process many library card applications. I have a question for today's parents and was wondering if your readers would respond.
Why do so many parents give their children first names they don't like to be used? At least once a week, I run into a parent who, when I call her child "Mary," will get angry and snap, "We don't call her that!" and order me to call the child by his or her middle name or some completely different name. I mean, if you don't like the name or don't want your kid to be called that, why give them that name?
I understand with older kids it can be a matter of choice, or with "Juniors" and others, it's a way to distinguish a father from a son. But this happens too often, and I dislike being snapped at because I called their son or daughter by his or her first name. So why is it such a common practice? -- CONFUZZLED IN FLORIDA
DEAR CONFUZZLED: I'm sure my readers will gladly chime in, but I have a hunch that many of them will tell you that their children were named to honor deceased parents, grandparents or other relatives despite the fact that those names may no longer be in "vogue." And that's why their child is called by a middle name or nickname.
However, the parents you describe are rude and abusive. Rather than snapping at you, they should have their children's library cards issued in the name the child uses.