Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A lawyer named Lawyer? A flowershop owner named Gardner? A pest-control inspector named Roach?

They all sound like punchlines. But they’re all for real, and part of a big collection of name-vocation pairings maintained by Brown University’s Dr. Lewis Lipsitt.

Lipsitt has a hunch that these examples aren’t so coincidental — that the name makes the career:

At the time he told his students the fact that Dr. Fish founded the state’s Oceanographic Institute; that Mr. Rolls was the director of the state’s AAA organization; and that Mr. Hawkes worked at the Audubon Society didn’t mean that there was any psychological reason for their choice of livelihood.

Yet, Lipsitt asked himself after the class, could your interests be influenced by having grown up hearing and saying your name?

“I decided shortly thereafter there might be something to it,” said Lipsitt. “Something is at work subconsciously when you have a repeated reminder.”

Unfortunately, Lipsitt’s collection is apparently all off-line, consisting of newspaper clippings and such in some file drawers. I think he needs to get it up on the Web so we can all ogle it.

And yet, I can’t help but think that there’s an overemphasis on finding a link between a person’s name and their walk of life. If I might draw from Wayne’s World:

Was it Kierkegaard, or perhaps Dick Van Patten, who said, “When you label me, you negate me”?

I should point out that the writer of this article, Kristen Cole, committed a faux pas when she tried to be cute by citing the false Chevy Nova/”no va” cautionary business tale.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/12/2021 08:19:55 PM
Category: Comedy, Society | Permalink |

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