LISA, ANGELA, PAMELA, RENEE: The annual release of the Popular Baby Names list is always a cause for much navel-gazing both the media and ourselves, with much of the attention focused on the ascendance of Twilight names including Isabella, Jacob and Cullen.
I have a feeling we can crowdsource this data in more interesting ways. I noticed, for example, that Katrina has continued its rapid descent, from #246 in 2005 to #600 in 2007 to #815 last year, while Brooklyn keeps climbing from #182 in the year of Brooklyn Beckham's birth (1999) to #101 in 2004 to #37 last year. The top five girl's names all end with schwas, and it's only until a little later where you hit the strong-e run (Natalie, Lily, Ashley, Hailey, Kaylee, Riley, Aubrey ...). Also, Madelyn > Madeline > Madeleine and Skylar > Skyler > Sky > Skyla (the Will Hunting pronunciation), and the kids who will hate their parents most upon learning the real genesis of their names (other than the 3,640 girls named Genesis) are likely the 2,155 girls and 283 boys named after Marley, a dead dog.
[Also a possible form of child abuse: naming your kid Aryanna, Aryana or Aryan. Yeah, they made the list.]
As Kim noted in 2006, "Of course, the real entertainment value of the list lies less in monitoring the top 10-20 names than in watching the trajectory of individual names over time and assessing whether a particular name has jumped the shark or will have jumped the shark by the time one's wee offspring hits the first grade. Have fun."