Are most of the names still actually pretty? Detach yourself from whether the name is too popular or the choice seems uninformed and concentrate on the name - [name]Lindsay[/name], [name]Brittany[/name], and [name]Emily[/name] are still pretty names. To be quite honest, there are less common names I don’t get, like [name]Calla[/name], which seems to come up a lot here. I don’t think it’s not pretty, so if someone named their daughter that, I would say what a pretty name. If over the phone or internet, I might make a face they can’t see. Can’t wait to meet her or him.
If the name is really odd, I might ask why - in an upbeat way - “oh, how’d you come up with that?” It’s quite unusual, you don’t see that name around a lot - wouldn’t they think that was a compliment? I think when someone chooses an odd name, they think that’s the goal, so it is a compliment? Maybe, you know your own friends and co-workers, right? Does she go by any nicknames? is another good question. Was she named after someone in the family?
If your conversation is with a grandparent and you don’t know her daughter or son at all, say, some woman works with you and is showing off her new grandchild pictures to you - touchy. She may in fact also think the name is awful, but you are not allowed to dis her family! Oh, what a beautiful, darling little boy or girl!
If you are meeting other moms while you are at the park or the library with your own kid, or their kid goes to the same school with yours, you don’t have to compliment the name choice if you don’t want to. Ask about other mom things, behaviors and skills, wow, she’s only 4 and can read that whole book by herself? Or how does she get along with her new baby brother? Stuff like that.
Anyway, I think even if a name is dated a little or too common, the name is still pretty or well-chosen by the ear. Probably. You can always say what a pretty name. Never say such like “I admire your bravery for naming your daughter to be a stripper,” or “[name]Don[/name]'t you worry there will be 15 other Brittanys in her class?” No. Popularity of a name tends to be overstated, and most people don’t worry about these things like you do or I do.
[name]Hope[/name] that helps somewhat.