Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled California might not let Grimes and Elon Musk name their child X Æ A-12
Photo: Angela Weiss (Getty Images)

There’s only one name on everybody’s lips this week, and that’s X Æ A-12.

On Tuesday, Elon Musk and Grimes welcomed their first child, who they named after the Lockheed A-12 “Archangel,” the “precursor” to the SR-71 (not the SR-17, GRIMES), which is their actual “favorite aircraft.” Got that? It’s okay if not, because a) it might all be a troll and b) it won’t be accepted by the state of California.


So says attorney David Glass, who spoke with People about the invalidity of the baby’s name in light of the state’s laws. “In California, you can only use the ‘26 characters’ of the English language in your baby name,” he says. “Thus, you can’t have numbers, Roman numerals, accents, umlauts or other symbols or emojis. Although an apostrophe, for a name like ‘O’Connor,’ is acceptable.”

He adds that if they filled out a birth certificate “with the odd numbers, dashes and symbols, it will be submitted and then rejected and they’ll be asked to submit it again.”


This is, obviously, pretty stupid, especially since, as CNN notes, the rule also bans diacritical marks, such as accents in names like “José.” A 2014 effort to change the rule apparently failed because computer systems would need to be upgraded to incorporate the accents. America!

Anyways, this isn’t a hard law or anything, but rather a rule in the California Department of Public Health handbook. “I don’t think you can say it’s illegalit just won’t be accepted,” Glass continued. “So your child won’t have an official name and won’t have a birth certificate and you can’t get a social security number until you have a birth certificate and on down the line.”

Considering this kid will probably be ferried off to Mars as soon as possible, that might not be a problem.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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