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In praise of - unusual names.

In a world full of Jennifers and Laurens, Jacks and Pauls, I've always liked being a Carrie.

Growing up, there weren't many other Carries around, and I liked that. Dealing with people mis-spelling it or mistaking it for another name was worth it, as I liked having an unusual moniker.

My parents compiled a shortlist of names before I was born, including options such as Jocelyn and Erin, before settling on calling me Carrie.

I am grateful that they thought outside the box and didn't opt for one of the popular names of the time. I should also thank Stephen King for doing his best to make the name as unpopular as possible by choosing to write a horror novel titled Carrie. When the movie was released in 1976, the name hit rock bottom.

I was born in 1983 and for some that wasn't enough distance from the troubled character. Certain relatives raised questions (and eyebrows) upon hearing my given name.

But Sex and the City helped change the perception of the name, and it went from being associated with a telekinetic weirdo to a glamorous and fashionable New Yorker. All in all, a pretty decent trade up.

And it isn't just my parents who are getting creative. We are making more unusual choices when it comes to naming our offspring. Instead of raising a nation of John and Roberts, we are now more likely to plump for Riley, Ethan or Tyler, according to recent collations of Scottish baby names. Likewise, our daughters are now more likely to be called something like Olivia, Isla or Ruby than plainer old favourites.

Long may it continue, as having a name that makes you stand out from the crowd has definitely worked for me.

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