Look Chanel, it’s your new little sister, Porsche

Increasingly, parents are naming their children after the most sought-after cars, popular perfumes and expensive drinks, reported the National Post Oct. 2, in a story based on the most popular names in 2000 in the United States. Sheila Embleton, vice-president academic at York University and a linguistics professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, said naming children after possessions has also become popular in Canada. There are no equivalent statistics, but she has seen children named Nike, Lexus and Chanel. She said the names may be popular because they are “echoes” of other names – Camry is similar to Cameron, Chanel is not far off Chantal – while giving an air of importance. Parents realize they are choosing brand names but they have a nice, familiar ring. “Parents are searching for something different. Or sometimes they just fall in love with the sound of a name,” she said.

‘Character’ education would be beneficial

If Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty wins control of the province, Ontario public schools will incorporate “character” education into aspects of the existing school curriculum, reported the Toronto Star Oct. 2. Alison Griffith, associate dean in York’s Faculty of Education, said it would be difficult to measure the results of such a program, but most schemes that connect and involve the education system with the family and surrounding community are beneficial. She was referring to a “character” program introduced in York Region that involved parents, teachers and other members of the community.

On air

  • William Wicken, a history professor in York University’s Faculty of Arts and author of Mi’kmaq Treaties On Trial, discussed Mi’kmaq treaties and how they compare to other First Nations treaties in Canada, on CBC Radio’s “Info Morning,” Sydney, NS, Oct. 1.
  • Dr. Joel Lexchin, health policy management professor in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, discussed federal legislation that would allow generic drugs against AIDS to be exported to poor countries, on CBC Radio’s “Breakaway” in Quebec and “Homestretch” in Calgary Oct. 1.
  • Robert Drummond, political science professor and dean of York’s Faculty of Arts, talked about the final week of the Ontario election, on CityPulse’s “Talk-TV,” Toronto, Oct. 1. He also discussed how provincial Premier Ernie Eves’s political future depends on the suburbs of Toronto, on Toronto 1’s “Toronto Tonight,” Oct. 1.