What’s in a name? Plenty, it seems

There are so many things to consider when naming a baby: Is the name too common or is it too rare? IsBaby1
it too hip or is it too square? Does it sound funny — in English or even Bengali? What about French or what’s spoken in Mali? Is it so long that some Americans can’t pronounce it? Is it so short that some Indians denounce it?

Yeah, there are many things to consider and now you can add one more, thanks to research by Leif Nelson of the University of California, San Diego, and Joseph Simmons of Yale University.

In what they call “moniker maladies,” a
pair of researchers find that although no baseball player wants to
strike out, players whose names begin with K (scorecard shorthand for a
strikeout) fan more often than other players. Most students want As,
but those whose names begin C or D have lower grade point averages than
students whose names begin with A and B—with an even greater effect if
they say they like their initials. That has real-world consequences:
students whose names begin with C or D and go to law school attend
lower-ranked ones than students whose names begin with A or B. [Link]

Oh no, we named our youngest daughter Divya! She’s doomed. I think I’m going to change her name. She’s only 3 and will quickly get used to being called Adivya.

Our other daughter is named Lekha, but perhaps we should start calling her by her middle name: Anjali.

Our son is named Rahul and will probably be drawn to professions beginning with ‘R.’ I hope he becomes a reporter or researcher, not a rebel or robber.

Divya is destined to be a Democrat, while Rahul will resort to being a Republican. And Lekha — well, she’ll love to be a Libertarian.

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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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