When I talk to my grandmother, born in 1929, she subtly reminds me that she’s worried about my son being made fun of because of his name. I try to remind her that all things old are being made new again right now, and that he won’t be the only kid in class with what she thinks is an outdated name.
I remind her that I am right, and she is wrong. Because I am right. I have to be.
OK. But what if I’m wrong?
A new study conducted by the University of Melbourne and New York University has determined that the safer you go in naming your child (Michael, Tom, Mary), the more likely they are to be successful. At least in one part of life.An article posted yesterday on Yahoo says that according to the study, people with “simple, easy-to-pronounce names were more likely to be favored for a promotion at work.”
Why? Unfortunately, I think the study uncovered more about our society’s xenophobic undercurrent—especially in the corporate world—than actually pinning down what makes a “good” name. “People simply aren’t aware of the subtle impact that names can have on their judgments,” said NYU’s Adam Alter.
Fortunately, I don’t measure my child’s success by how far he goes in the corporate world, though I want him to have a happy and productive, even successful, life. Actually, I might like his name even more now. The plan was always to give him a name that’s memorable. So far, no one has gotten it wrong. Not even once.
And hopefully my grandma won’t be managing his quarterly review.
Do you regret the name you gave your baby? Do you think it will become an obstacle in his/her life?