Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't Call Him Friday

An Italian court has required that a Genoa couple change the name of their infant son:

"We named him Friday because we like the sound of the name," explains mom Mara Germano. "Even if it would have been a girl, we would have named her Friday."

Just about everyone agrees Friday is their favourite day of the week and they often thank God for it. But even though the now-15-month-old boy was officially baptized with that name, the local government refused to take the day off in their fight against the moniker. When a city clerk spotted the odd name in the records, he told his supervisor about it and put the wheels in motion for a battle that would eventually wind up in the courts.

What reports call an "administrative norm" is applied to all names given to children and a tribunal ruled that Friday breaks the ban against "ridiculous or shameful" designations.

The parents refused to budge and the case went through several courts, before a judge ruled the choice was too similar to the servant in "Robinson Crusoe" and that the child would be subjected to undue taunts later in life. He ordered them to change the name to "Gregory" instead, after a saint whose feast is celebrated on the baby's birthday.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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