Would a CEO by any other name be as successful? The guys who wrote Freakonomics raise a similar question in one of their recent New York Times blog post. The answer? No, they say, names don’t affect how successful or unsuccessful someone is.
But the importance of names is not a point of universal agreement. A piece in Time written earlier this year also addressed the role a names play in shaping someone’s life. In an article titled “Can Your Name Make You a Criminal?”, John Cloud cited a study suggesting that your moniker can in fact increase the chance you end up in jail.
While the piece acknowledges that social class and upbringing also factor into people’s judgment, it does posit that certain names can lead to negative assumptions and sometimes negative treatment. It concludes that maybe parents should just settle for boring names, and judging from another Times article by J. Marion Tierney, they may be right.
“You can sort of understand parents’ affection for the sound of Chimera Griffin, but Monster Moor and Goblin Fester? Or Cheese Ceaser and Leper Priest? What provokes current celebrities to name their children Sage Moonblood Stallone and Speck Wildhorse Mellencamp?”
At the very least, it may be hard to take people with these names seriously, but do these names or others really have a negative impact on people’s lives? Some say yes, some say no, and others suggest that a bad name can actually make it easier for kids to roll with the punches.
Never fear, however, if you’re having trouble thinking of the perfect name for your new baby. Bloggers like the Name Lady at Namecandy.com are more than happy to give you some advice.