Sunday, November 20, 2005

Naming babies

I have finally found enough time to write about our discussion from Tuesday (Patrick's party). We spoke on baby names if you remember and I clearly was unprepared (even though I was the only one of us "with child". If you will remember I cited Freakonomics in my statement that high-income parents start trends in naming which are then adopted by low/lower income parents. Here are some snippets:

"... it isn't famous people who drive the name game. It is the family just a few blocks over, the one with the bigger house and newer car ... But as a high-end name is adopted en masse, high-end parents begin to abandon it. Eventually, it is considered so common that even lower-end parents may not want it, whereby it falls out of the rotation entirely ... Where, then, will the new high-end names come from? It wouldn't be surprising to find them among the "smartest" girls' and boys' names in California, that are still fairly obscure."

All of Levitt and Dubner's information is drawn from California census bureau information and they use data from the 1960s to the present (they might have used more, but this is what they mention in the book). The end result of this study is the authors' assertion that the child's name above all things reflects the parent's expectations for the child. So, I guess the my nickname for my child would not be a good idea for a formal name... Dingus. Comments? (Not about the name Dingus, that was a joke)