Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Monday, May 19, 2008

What’s in a name?

…asks Juliet, when she considers that the boy she loves is from the family of her father’s mortal enemy. But names are important. Just look at all the fuss over domain names which I’ve written about many times before.

The importance of names is far wider than that. Look at our personal names. People’s names work differently according to culture – but there is no human culture in which people do not have personal names. The requirement for personal names seems to be built in to us. Now, Richard Westlake has done some research to show that our names are more than just sounds. He has shown that someone whose name is in the first half of the alphabet is twice as likely to be elected to high office than someone whose name is in the second half.

posted by colin at 6:53 pm  

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