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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 16:40   #1
John Self
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Default What's in a Name?

A report on BBC News online tells of how teachers can often predict what pupils are going to be well-behaved or badly-behaved just from their forenames:

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Teachers have confessed to making snap judgements about children from their names on the register.

In a light-hearted debate on a teachers' website, they have listed the names they associate with problematic and charming pupils.

Poppys are seen as hyperactive, Kayleighs as a pain and Ryans as hard work, according to chat on the website of the Times Educational Supplement.

Kyle, Liam, Wayne, Charmaine and Charlie are among the names teachers say they associate with problem children.

One teacher wrote: "I went through my new class list and mentally circled the ones I thought would be difficult. I reckon I have a 75% hit rate..."


According to the website, names which get a negative response from teacher include those with hyphens, like Bobbi-Jo, ordinary names with unusual spellings such as Kloe or K'tee, Kristopher, Jayne, Gyaike and Chevaughn, plus the various spellings of Jordon.

Names which teachers associate with delightful children include Kate, Gregory, Sean, Charlotte, Jamie, Daniel, Lucy, Isobel, Ben, Sam, Harpreet, Imran, Asam, Alice and Joseph.

However, perhaps proving that one's response to a name is dependent on one's personal experience, many names appear on both lists.

The debate has sparked a row with parents chatting on another website, bounty.com.

Some were appalled, complaining that children were being labelled and pre-judged before they had even stepped inside a classroom.

One mother said she had complained to the Department for Education and Skills, saying: "I and many other parents are disgusted by the attitudes of the teachers on the forum.

"I realise this is a small number of teachers, but they have taken time out of their day to post these comments and I presume... they actually mean what they are saying."


But others on the site sympathised with the teachers, saying they understood how if you had had a bad experience with a child, their name would continue to have bad associations for you.
This is perhaps partly true (though of course you often get what you expect, so snap judgements may be as much cause as effect) - surely only the most idiotic, child-hating neanderthal would call their offspring K'tee or Gyaike? And isn't it possible that they are also the parents least likely to be instilling respect and discipline in their children?
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 16:44   #2
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

How is 'Gyaike' pronounced, exactly? And as you say, 'K'tee' is utterly dreadful - seriously, why are registrars letting this stuff happen?

I have to say that whenever I meet someone called 'Kyle' I am always slightly afraid.
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 16:54   #3
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

Gyaike = Jake, I presume. Oh yes.

I do sometimes think parents should have to pass a basic spelling test before being allowed to register names. Otherwise you get boys called Jessie (I had a client who laboured under this - and no, he wasn't a creation of Sean Wright) and girls called Shevonne (also real - akin to the Chevaughn listed in the BBC piece. It's Siobhán, OK, you lunatics?! And to make it easier we'll let you leave off the accent).

I took instructions from a new client just the other day whose surname I will not disclose but whose first and middle names were John and Wayne. Where are that man's parents now, eh?
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 16:56   #4
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

Along those lines, one of my mates once played football with a Marlon Brando as a kid. His little brother was called Errol Flynn Brando so he wouldn't feel left out.
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 17:07   #5
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavid
I have to say that whenever I meet someone called 'Kyle' I am always slightly afraid.
I know a Kyle and I think you should be. Very afraid.

I have an intense dislike of my full first name and always shorten it. Had I realised at a young age that being called by one's middle name is an option, I would have used that, it's a much better name.

I remember having, when I was very young, a nasty bully of a teacher who would periodically take the piss out of a young lad whose name was Shawn, and another whose name was Alun (the Welsh spelling, with the second syllable pronounced '-in'). Doesn't seem so bad compared to K'tee, does it Mr B?
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 17:24   #6
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ono no komachi
I have an intense dislike of my full first name and always shorten it.
I imagine it would be difficult with a name like Onomatopoeia.
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 17:26   #7
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

Well quite. And people would so insist on pronouncing it to rhyme with 'Utopia'.
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 18:05   #8
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

We currently have a Jamie-Lee Curtis enrolled at college. I kid you not.
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 18:08   #9
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

My brother was almost named Austin... Morris.

I'm glad my parents settled for David in the end!
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 18:20   #10
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Default Re: What's in a Name?

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My brother was almost named Austin... Morris.
He would have got on well with Ford Prefect, no doubt.
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