Saturday, November 17, 2007

What's in a Name?

Romeo and Juliet.

Juliet:"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."

This book remains one of my favorite memories from High School. And that quote remains one of the few that I still remember and understand. Let's not discuss it took me three reads and some extra instruction to fully understand most of the book. Fortunately, I was able to locate one of those books with the text on one side and the translation on the other side. Did that Shakespeare cat really speak English? I'm not so sure. Well, at the end of the day it was the movie: Romeo and Juliet (the 1968 version) starring Olivia Hussey, that finally put it in perspective for me. And I mean total Technicolor! We took a field trip to the theater to watch the movie. What a treat! For a teen aged boy with raging hormones, Olivia Hussey was more than an eye full. And I was a captive, or should I say captivated, audience. She totally wooed me into submission as I watched the tragedy unfold. Completely knowing and understanding the ending, I still found it difficult to hold back my emotion as the two lovers met their tragic end.

Today, my vision of Juliet has been smeared. I learned that her (Actually, Shakespeare's) immortal words are false: A rose by some other name perhaps would not smell as sweet. Or at least it wouldn't be as smart and could have a lower batting average.

I came across this story today:

Yale University researcher Joseph Simmons and Leif Nelson of the University of California, San Diego, found that individuals' initials played a role when looking at their success in baseball or academia, a news release from Psychological Science said Wednesday.
In the duo's first study, they took into account Major League Baseball players' initials and strikeout percentages during the last 93 years.
Since strikeouts are typically recorded with the letter "K," the researchers attempted to discover if those players whose names started with that letter struck out more often.
They determined that those players did, indeed, strike out more often than those whose names began with different letters.
The second study took into account letter grades in academia in relation to students' initials and again a link was found.
By looking at the grade point averages of M.B.A. students from an unidentified university during the last 15 years, they found students with names starting with "C" or "D" typically had lower grade point averages than those whose names began with "A" and B."

So just think.... Now, after all those years my parents harassed me about my GPA, I learn that it's their fault. If they had named me Andrew or Brian, Bruce or Arthur,.... I would have had better grades and perhaps even made it into the Major League.

Is it too late for a name change?


Gary said...

Yeah, thats true about the rose. I read somewhere a long time ago about a study that showed that the name of something can change how a person perceives it, so if a rose was called by something else that sounded negative or unpleasant, people might smell it differently. Interesting stuff, I think.

intrepidideas said...

Gary, So true. And thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

at least my name doesn't start with letter z. eeeeks!

Unknown said...

Its very interesting.

Jane Turley said...

Always wished I was called something more exotic."Jane" is so very boring and not even a "Y" in it! There was a girl at school called Felicity Fox always thought that was kinda fancy..

My parents weren't that imaginative ; Mary, Paul, Jane and John. Still better than Fifi Trixabelle or Peaches I suppose; I wouldn't want to be confused with a poodle.

intrepidideas said...

Miss Jayne, See... I've added a "Y" to your name. That's better than Janey isn't it? You are ever so delightful. I'm glad your parents didn't name you Fifi. Peaches would have been okay with me! :)