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posted by martyb on Wednesday May 07 2014, @02:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the John-J-J-Schmidt dept.

In light of two recent studies, expecting parents might consider doing a little social engineering when naming their children. New evidence suggests if you're trying to convey intelligence the more middle initials in your name, the smarter people will assume you to be.

Also, if you want to be trusted more, use a first name that everyone can pronounce. That effect seems to be in line with another study (not peer-reviewed) indicating short first names correlate with higher earnings.

Perhaps one should combine the two and just use initials for all but the surname, like J.P. Morgan?

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tempest on Wednesday May 07 2014, @03:13PM

    by tempest (3050) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @03:13PM (#40558)

    The reason I sign with my middle initial it is because the military required signatures be done that way, and I just kept doing it. I wouldn't say the U.S. army is filled with geniuses... I've also noticed that stuff like bills and credit cards always have my middle initials as well, so they must have picked that up somehow from my signature as I only fill out forms with First/Last name per normal. It's kind of weird how stuff in your life just happens that way.

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  • (Score: 2) by SuddenOutbreak on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:19PM

    by SuddenOutbreak (3961) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:19PM (#40581)

    My daughters each have two middle names (from grandmothers' first names) as does my wife - it's a bit of a family tradition.

    However: most of the standardized forms have channeled us and them into having to choose a single name and initial to fit in the requisite boxes.

    We may slowly see the death of extra names in Western culture.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by n1 on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:27PM

      by n1 (993) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:27PM (#40585) Journal

      I'd say this is unlikely, at least in the UK. The landed gentry often have several middle names as well as double, triple or even quadruple barreled surnames. Then you can add their official 'titles' in at the start. So while it's still of value to the aristocracy, I can't see it going anywhere.

        For the rest of us John Smiths, it probably will fade away. I use my middle initial often because it creates a nice 'break' in my full name. I'm more likely to write my first name, my middle and family initials than any other style outside of just my first name.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by SuddenOutbreak on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:48PM

        by SuddenOutbreak (3961) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @04:48PM (#40590)

        The landed gentry often have several middle names as well as double, triple or even quadruple barreled surnames.

        You mention an interesting point: the study took place using students at the University of Limerick in Ireland. They would have much more contact with "landed gentry" with a lot of middle names and titles, and would be more likely influenced by that than someone in the US, Canada or maybe even Australia would.

        The results of the study might not transfer very far outside of the British Isles.

        • (Score: 1) by redneckmother on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:45PM

          by redneckmother (3597) on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:45PM (#40625)

          "You mention an interesting point: the study took place using students at the University of Limerick in Ireland. They would have much more contact with "landed gentry" with a lot of middle names and titles, and would be more likely influenced by that than someone in the US, Canada or maybe even Australia would."

          So true! In my (red)neck of the woods, multiple middle initials usually brand someone as "a pompous ass with pompous parents".

          --
          Mas cerveza por favor.
  • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:28PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 07 2014, @06:28PM (#40615) Journal

    I go by my middle name most of the time, using an initial for my first name.
    Dad's name was the same. So was Grand-dads. Too many in the family, so they started calling me by my middle name and it stuck.
    No way I wanted to sign everything with "the Third" hung on the end.

    --
    No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.