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In praise of - traditional names.

IN the top 100, I am down from 90 to 93.

There was a time when I was in the top 10, even a few years when I was number one. But the name Mark just isn't fashionable these days. It's not Riley or Logan or Kaiden or even Kayden. Biblical names like Mark don't cut it any more because there is a new Bible: Ok! magazine.

That's the only explanation I can think of for most of the names in the list of the 100 most popular in Scotland, revealed in The Herald yesterday. There's Robbie, for instance (named by mums who love Take That), Riley (named by mums who love 90210), or Mason (named by mums who love Keeping Up with The Kardashians).

What these mothers may have overlooked is the tyrannical rule of fashion that means that there will come a day when names that are trendy now won't be any more and those children will still be lumbered with them.

Just think of those poor adults born in the 1970s called Garry and Barry and Elton and especially Zowie, son of Bowie. And naming your children after your favourite musician is never a good idea, as my good friend Elvis Led Zeppelin McCorkindale will tell you. The trick is to keep it simple because, like school uniforms, traditional names are classless. If there are Marks at the top, and at the bottom of society, maybe the divisions won't feel so obvious.

By contrast, the danger of the trend for names inspired by reality TV and pop stars, and even worse spelling the names phonetically, is that what we call our children becomes a class issue, with some children labelled by their names as well as our attitudes towards them.

Do not do that to your children. And if you're about to have a baby son, how about the name Mark? Come on, let's get it up to 92 next year.

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Families

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