When my daughter was born a year ago my wife and I suddenly had about 40 days to officially name her, or she'd might have been named Nelson Mandela Jary by the local council.
Choosing a baby's name sounds easy – there are tons of names to choose from, you can make up your own, and you can buy books stuffed full of them. Nowadays it ain't so easy - you must boot up your search engine for preliminary name checks.
For ages, there's been plenty of online sites to help you chose the right name. Babyworld even has advice about which names not to go for – although its list includes the name of a good friend of mine (Richard Head) who hasn't done badly saddled with a potentially funny appellation.
Most people appear to pick up the latest TV listings or gossip magazine, and chose the latest C-list celebrity's name for their offspring – step forward Kylie, Angelica and Justin.
A child attending the school of a friend's child is called Cliché, and there really do exist Chardonnays and Armanis.
Now it's not as easy as naming your child after yourself (indulgent) or your parents (sycophantic). The latest hoop for parents to jump through is the need for a name to be Google-able.
"Googleability" is now a vital baby-naming requirement. A common name will yield too many Google results, so blending your child into a virtually anonymous world. For many, this means that their child won't stand out from the crowd – and a new name or spelling tried out via Google.
On the first page of a Google search on my name, all the pages except one are actually about me – rather than a bunch of other Simon Jarys that I might be confused with.
However, there are benefits to anonymity. Privacy is a major issue in these digital days, and we all leave information footprints – many of which can be traced with a humble web browser.
Everyone has Google-d their own name, but now that parents are choosing names dependent on search-engine results, the population may split into two distinct camps: the wilfully obscure but findable, and the deliberately common and hidden.