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posted by janrinok on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:07AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the call-me-what-you-will dept.

The BBC has an article about how a name can affect someone throughout their life. One table shows the chance of attending Oxford with a given name, and a graph shows the downward trend of naming children one of the top 50 most popular names.

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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:14AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:14AM (#30361)

    "Effect" not "affect"

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Buck Feta on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:42AM

      by Buck Feta (958) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:42AM (#30369) Journal

      Maybe its about affecting a name, such as Sir Buckwald Lord of Feta.

      --
      - fractious political commentary goes here -
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by buswolley on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:49AM

        by buswolley (848) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:49AM (#30373)

        Of the emotional affect associated with a name.
        of course
        http://xkcd.com/326/ [xkcd.com]

        --
        subicular junctures
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by randmcnatt on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:52AM

      by randmcnatt (671) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:52AM (#30374)
      "Effect" is usually used as a noun, not a verb, and means the result or outcome. This is effect's most common usage. As a verb, "effect" means "cause".

      "Affect" is generally used as a verb, and means to "cause to change" in some way. As a noun, the word "affect" relates to the display of emotion.

      In this case, "affect" is the correct word to use.
      --
      The Wright brothers were not the first to fly: they were the first to land.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by randmcnatt on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:56AM

        by randmcnatt (671) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:56AM (#30376)
        My bad, the headline should be "effect", the link "affect".
        --
        The Wright brothers were not the first to fly: they were the first to land.
        • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:44AM (#30388)
          • (Score: 2) by khallow on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:10AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:10AM (#30397) Journal

            That's the first thing I thought of. Shame on XKCD for spoiling our traditional pasttimes.

        • (Score: 2) by lhsi on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:31PM

          by lhsi (711) on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:31PM (#30528) Journal

          I think when I first started writing the headline "affect" was correct, but I hit the character limit and had to edit down to a title that fit, forgetting to correct.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:57AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:57AM (#30391)

        I think the headline should use 'effect'. Names affect people's path in life. So, the choice of a name causes an effect. The effect of a name.

        The whole thing would be clearer if it read

        "The effect of names on individuals"

        or

        "How names can affect lives"

    • (Score: 2) by xlefay on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:26AM

      by xlefay (65) on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:26AM (#30404) Journal

      Fixed!

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:32AM

    by c0lo (156) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:32AM (#30362) Journal
    TFA makes an interesting read for weekend time:

    Conley, who is a sociologist at New York University, says that children with unusual names may learn impulse control because they may be teased or get used to people asking about their names.

    ...the effect of a name on its bearer rarely amounts to more than the effect of being raised by parents who would choose such a name.

    there is no evidence that it's the names causing such a marked discrepancy, rather than other factors they represent, Clark says. Different names are popular among different social classes, and these groups have different opportunities and goals.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:58AM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:58AM (#30392) Journal

      To this you have to add the revolving trends in names, as new trends come and old trends die.

      Further, One could argue that the chances of attending oxford with a given name is inversely proportional to the number of people so named, and significant of absolutely nothing else.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @04:56AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @04:56AM (#30444)

      "children with unusual names may learn impulse control

      I'm reminded of the other side of that coin.
      A Boy Named Sue [google.com]

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday April 12 2014, @05:49AM

        by c0lo (156) on Saturday April 12 2014, @05:49AM (#30455) Journal
        I like that one too.
        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 1) by TGV on Saturday April 12 2014, @09:55AM

      by TGV (2838) on Saturday April 12 2014, @09:55AM (#30495)

      Learning impulse control? But that's relative to your socio-cultural environment. If you've got a black name, it will be considered normal in a black neighborhood; if you've got a white name, it'll be considered normal in white neighborhood. So any name can give the same amount of impulse control learning, given the correct environment. And that explanation does also not stretch to explaining why Eleanor is more often admitted at Oxford than Shannon. I'd say Conley is just making it up post hoc.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday April 12 2014, @10:15AM

        by c0lo (156) on Saturday April 12 2014, @10:15AM (#30498) Journal
        No, it's not learning impulse control. But he continues:

        But for the main part, he says, the effect of a name on its bearer rarely amounts to more than the effect of being raised by parents who would choose such a name.

        It may happen that the parents how'd chose Eleonore rather than Shannon have both higher expectations from theirs progeny and more clout to sustain those expectation - this one sounds plausible to me.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 1) by TGV on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:53PM

          by TGV (2838) on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:53PM (#30576)

          You referred to this reply in the thread below, but I fail to see anything else than correlation. If the mechanism is that parents translate their expectations into names and children behave according to this expectation, it doesn't make sense. Parents choose names based on all kinds of instincts. Children get named after famous people, family members, saints, etc., and to a great extent by fashion, and names get chosen before birth. How could that entail an expectation? That would only work if the child picked up that expectation based on its name, and not on the parents' behavior (because that would remove the name from the causal chain), and act according to the expectation that lives in the parents' association with that name.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday April 13 2014, @12:12AM

            by c0lo (156) on Sunday April 13 2014, @12:12AM (#30637) Journal
            Educated/wealthy parents who have expectations and picks 'royal' names for the children is a hypothesis to explain the correlation. Granted, TFA doesn't go long enough into proving/disproving this hypothesis but does more than spitting out a statistic and pretending is causation.
            The "isn't regurgitating statistics" doesn't necessarily imply "it provides explanations": for me, listing hypotheses and "don't know yet"-s was enough. My apologies if my comment title created higher expectations than I intended.
            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 1) by TGV on Sunday April 13 2014, @06:03AM

              by TGV (2838) on Sunday April 13 2014, @06:03AM (#30706)

              To me, an explanation along the lines of educated parents with expectations pick other names is already problematic, because even if there is a causal relation, it's more likely to be the parent's behavior rather than the name which affects the child. Let me put it this way: if everyone named their children Eleanor and and Peter, would everyone have a doctorate by the time the last Shane and Shannon die?

              No need to be sorry, but remarkable claims require remarkable proof. I didn't see any. The claim that the effect comes from the name itself, and hence that a name has an almost magical power over the owner, is a remarkable claim, and not even the plain and simple possibility that the whole effect is just "post-hoc" is eliminated. So until there is an experiment where we measure the parents' expectations beforehand, and the test leaders assign a name to the child (that the parents obviously can't know), and then establish the influence of that name, there is no proof.

              Sorry if I come across as strict in this. I've seen far too many flaky articles to accept that things just get published and take for true.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by dbe on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:33AM

    by dbe (1422) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:33AM (#30363)

    Well that one was easy, if you take the distribution of name in a famous university then compare it to the general population distribution you're going to have a skew on family income.
    They could have at least tried to correct for that factor.
    How their conclusion holds when you look at the name distribution in higher class?
    -dbe

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:37AM

      by c0lo (156) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:37AM (#30367) Journal
      (I know, I know.... it's blasphemy...) but once in a while it actually worth RTFA.
      In this case, I think it is.
      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 1) by TGV on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:15AM

        by TGV (2838) on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:15AM (#30459)

        I didn't see anything in the article that convinced me of the opposite. I also cannot imagine any mechanism that would lead to the described effect. What did you see that convinced you it's not pure correlation?

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:17AM

          by c0lo (156) on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:17AM (#30460) Journal
          See here [soylentnews.org]
          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:36AM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday April 12 2014, @12:36AM (#30366) Homepage

    From the article:

    " One study found that psychiatric patients with more unusual names tended to be more disturbed. "

    From the novel Silence of the Lambs:

    " Jame Gumb [poster's note: Jame Gumb is the canonical 'real name' of serial-killer Buffalo Bill, who performed the infamous "tuck scene" in the movie] was born in California in 1949, and was abandoned at birth by his mother. His mother was an alcoholic prostitute, who had named him James Gumb, but upon signing his birth certificate incorrectly spelled the name James, and it was left signed as Jame Gumb."

    And in that novel, Jame never bothers to correct his name, insisting on being called "Jame."

    But more ontopic - the Oxford table showed the top and bottom 10 names for getting into Oxford and guess what? The top-ten names are very regal, British/European-sounding names, proper. The bottom-ten reek of being American trash abominations, like "Danny" instead of the proper "Daniel," and oh God "Kayleigh." "Kayleigh," a name only a redneck could name their kid, believing that spelling it in that obnoxious manner wouldn't later be detrimental to its bearer -- it smacks of the desperately random elaboration of a bad liar*.

    * phrase inspired by a Hannibal Lecter quote in the above novel/movie

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:22AM (#30384)
      I can't believe "Silence of the Lambs" makes reference to the Oxford table... does it?
      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:37AM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:37AM (#30386) Homepage

        The only overlap is that Silence of the Lambs makes reference to a serial killer having an "abnormal" name, as the article states that psychiatric patients with unusual names tend to be more disturbed.

        It does not reference the table. Your confusion could be due to the fact that I forgot or fucked up a closing italic tag, swallowing the rest of the post with italics which weren't meant to be. But now that you mention it, it could lead to methods of human fuzzing or forced association. Or I'm drunk.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by khallow on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:17AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:17AM (#30401) Journal

      "Kayleigh," a name only a redneck could name their kid, believing that spelling it in that obnoxious manner wouldn't later be detrimental to its bearer -- it smacks of the desperately random elaboration of a bad liar*.

      Nah, they probably just live in North Carolina. State capitol is spelled "Raleigh".

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by buswolley on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:35AM

    by buswolley (848) on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:35AM (#30385)

    new topic
    "the affect of this site's name makes you feel _______.

    --
    subicular junctures
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:59AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:59AM (#30393)

      What is "hungry"?

    • (Score: 2) by clone141166 on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:14AM

      by clone141166 (59) on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:14AM (#30400)

      Site name change suggestion: EleanorNews?

  • (Score: 2) by skullz on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:52AM

    by skullz (2532) on Saturday April 12 2014, @01:52AM (#30390)

    Thats it, I'm changing my name to Eleanor-Peter-Simon Anna Katherine-Elizabeth. Thats like a 19.78% chance to get in!

    Hyphenated names were big for my generation.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kstox on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:20AM

    by kstox (2066) on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:20AM (#30402)

    with my name. It does give me an interesting perspective. With the advent of Google, it does stifle my career in crime, though.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by hemocyanin on Saturday April 12 2014, @04:42PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Saturday April 12 2014, @04:42PM (#30550) Journal

      Funny, but as a person with an unusual name (I'm 45 and have never met anyone else with my name, although twice in my life I have heard about people naming a kid with _my_ name (kinda ticked me off actually) and once someone who named their dog with my name (didn't care)). It isn't a made up name or strange spelling, just very very very old. Anyway, an unusual name makes it stupidly easy to google me. I can't really say that I like that, and there are times I wish I was a "Bob Smith" -- people with names like that are almost impossible to google successfully.

      Other things about having an unusual name (not necessarily good or bad):
      -- More people know you than you know. This can be good for business, bad for privacy.

      -- You become completely unperturbed by misspellings or mispronunciations of your name. Personally, if people get the main consonant right and couple that with any short vowel sound, I call it good and don't say anything.

      -- Things get filed under your first name. This is good if you want that parking ticket lost forever, bad if you aren't getting some discount because last and first got switched.

      -- It's a good obvious icebreaker for people to use with you. Can make meeting new people easier (especially for a non-gregarious person like myself) because people almost always make a comment about my name on hearing it for the first time, and I've built up a list of amusing responses, so it helps me get by that initial awkwardness.

      All in all, I wouldn't trade my name for anything, even with the google issue -- I would hate having to share my name with others around me. Maybe that's bad -- other people share their names, and maybe there is something egotistical about not wanting to share. But I don't. It's my name dammit -- go get your own name (this of course ignores the fact that my parents borrowed my name when they picked it ... still, it's mine now!).

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by clone141166 on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:22AM

    by clone141166 (59) on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:22AM (#30403)

    This is exactly how statistics should never be used. There are so many additional factors and influences that aren't accounted for or included. I'm not even going to begin taking this one apart because it's pretty obvious it's a useless statistic.

    Even some of the seemingly best statistics can turn out to be complete garbage - but it's so hard to tell with stats until you dig very deeply into the methodology used to collect them. Even when the methodology is sound, the statistic may just be proving some hidden association rather than what it appears to be showing.

    I really, really don't like statistics.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by tynin on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:46AM

    by tynin (2013) on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:46AM (#30409) Journal

    In case anyone is reading this topic and wondering, the word was changed after much grammar nazi'ing occurred.

    It would be nice if when edits occur, that a comment gets added to the body.

    • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:54AM

      by GeminiDomino (661) on Saturday April 12 2014, @02:54AM (#30412)

      Odd. When writing a comment, the spelling is correct in the title, but when viewing the discussion (even after refreshing), it's still wrong.

      Kind of like the other day when "fucking" in NCommander's kept bouncing back between plain and obscured seemingly randomly...

      --
      "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
    • (Score: 2) by Non Sequor on Saturday April 12 2014, @03:21AM

      by Non Sequor (1005) on Saturday April 12 2014, @03:21AM (#30421) Journal

      Actually, both affect and effect are fitting:

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/affect [reference.com]

      Note the definitions as a noun.

      --
      Write your congressman. Tell him he sucks.
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by maxwell demon on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:03AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 12 2014, @06:03AM (#30457) Journal

    I liked especially this line, below an image with the title "Nomen est omen":

    My name is Sue Yoo and I'm a lawyer.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.