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Of Interest:

First Impressions Last

Well, this is bound to give rise to argument...

A
recent study shows an apparent link between academic success and a child’s first name. While naming traditions vary across cultures and socioeconomic strata, the study seem to show that certain names saddle the bearer with preconceptions that have a negative impact on classroom grades, which in turn limits further opportunities as the child grows. More simply put: some names give the impression that the bearers are more stupid than they may actually be, and people will treat the bearer accordingly.
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Yogi, Magic, and Big Baby

A clever article that brought to light a trend we had not noticed: nicknames in sports have become far less popular in recent years, and some ascribe that trend to the forces of marketing - the players have become their own brands. See “Be Like Mike” for an example. Another suggestion: the personal names of the players have become far more varied than they had been back in the day. There was a practical reason for being able to tell one Joe, Mark or John from another, whereas these days, there aren’t too many LeBrons, Tikis, or Hidekis on the field at the same time...

Cocktail fact 1: the word ‘nickname’ was once actually an ‘ic nama’ - “a name I call myself”... Like ‘apron’ [once “a napron”] and orange [once “a norange” - see Spanish “naranja”], it picked up a change along the way.

Cocktail fact 2: George Herman Ruth wasn’t called “Babe” until he signed with the Orioles, who already had a George in the line-up.
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Hello Wor(l)d

After many years of talking about it, we’re getting down to business and arriving fashionably late to Web2.0.

We see this forum as an opportunity to let folks know what goes on in the minds of the word-oriented people who work here, what news captures our attention, how we see language in action in all parts of the world, what we think about new product names, or names and language in the news.

A regular reader will find plenty of cocktail facts, advances in linguistics and language research, monkeys in the news, and discussion of things we find interesting. Check back regularly for the latest word, or for a bit of knowledge to make any day a day where you have learned something new.
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