Names

Name and shame

It turns out that nominal determinism has something to it…

A news story reporting on a study of school performance in Germany reports what anybody who has read Freakonomics already knows. Names can cause all sorts of dramas.

The Freakonomics blog linked to this news story which explained a little bit about why all the staff are deserting the PM’s office.

“The name Kevin was perceived as being linked to especially poor behaviour and performance, with one study participant even writing that, “Kevin is not a name – it’s a diagnosis!””

This is a German study so these names don’t look like orthodox Australian names – but the study of 2,000 teachers found that people with normal names turn out better.

“The study reveals that the names traditional names such as Charlotte, Sophie, Marie, Hannah, Alexander, Maximilian, Simon, Lukas and Jakob are consistently linked to strong performance and good behaviour. Non-traditional names such as Chantal, Mandy, Angelina, Kevin, Justin and Maurice, on the other hand, are associated with weak performance and bad behaviour.”

Naming Rights (and wrongs)

A new “study” has found that names count. It’s pretty much the same theory expounded on in detail in Freakonomics – that people with dumb names will be picked on, or come from dumb families – and these environmental factors will cause them to grow up pretty screwed up. The study found that:

“Boys with unpopular, girlish or uncommon names often are ridiculed by peers, come from families of low socioeconomic status and face discrimination in the workforce based on a preconceived bias about their names, according to the study, which analysed more than 15,000 names.”

According to the SMH article the top 10 bad-boy names are:

  1. Alec
  2. Ernest
  3. Garland
  4. Ivan
  5. Kareem
  6. Luke
  7. Malcolm
  8. Preston
  9. Tyrell
  10. Walter

Names 2.0

Have you noticed that all the really awesome web success stories feature stupid names, stupid names that often mix a pronoun with a noun. Some names are stupider than others – YouTube kind of makes sense, Vimeo is just odd. They’ve just replaced a letter.

Anyway, it’s obvious that to succeed in the Internet Age you need to have a stupid name – which is where Wordoid comes into play. It does all the hard work for you – even giving you words that are available as domains…

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