Friday, March 03, 2006

Name Your Children Well

Tomorrow (which Australians prefer to call "today") in the Sydney Morning Herald, Dan Kaufman does some "ego surfing" and finds several other "Dan Kaufmans," most of whom are too much like himself to be interesting. This leads him to investigate "whether our name could affect our personality."

A study published in The Journal of Social Psychology, for example, found boys with unique names (including Odder, Lethal and Vare) were more likely to have psychoses than those with common names, suggesting it could be because "unique names interfere with normal social interaction". Another hypothesis was that parents who give children weird names may inflict their own hang-ups upon the children.

A report published in The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, meanwhile, lists case studies in which people with suggestive names often develop associated complexes. For example, males with names such as Small, Little, Short and Bent often had feelings of inferiority, while a woman named Fiddler had masturbatory issues and one with the surname Hogg became an anorexic. [Link]
This adds a whole new layer of meaning to Fiddler on the Roof.

My own name is suggestive of nothing, but is shared by a New York patent attorney, an R/T technician on a 1966 episode of Doctor Who, and a "real estate guy" in Phoenix, Arizona. Coincidentally, these are three occupations at which I have not yet failed.

As an aside, my site statistics yesterday revealed that someone using a school district network in Quinlan, Texas, was searching intently for "chris dunham credit card number." I hope he was looking for the real estate guy.

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