THE NAME GAME : A Comprehensive Study
This week I was reading CNN and noticed the headling "Who will distribute Mel's movie?" I immediately thought "Huh, Mel Brooks has a new movie?" Then I clicked on the link to realize that, of course, they were referring to Mel Gibson's new and controversial Jesus flick, which I was more than familiar with, but way less interested in reading about than a Mel Brooks movie. But it got me to wondering, who else would've made this mistake? Which names get the most common assumpitions? Who owns the market on the first name Sally? Struthers or Field?
So I sent out a list of 50 random first names to a select group of people and asked them to write down next to each name the first person who came to mind. Be it a famous person, a relative, a fictional character, whatever. Eight people responded. These are my findings.
It may surprise you to know: celebrities and famous people are more popular than non-celebrities and not famous people. On average, people responded with 24% non-famous names (friends, relatives, coworkers, etc) and 76% famous names (actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, etc.).
MOST POPULAR RESPONSES:
These people definitely own the market on their first names:
Here are everyone's responses, listed out only by initial, so as to protect the innocent:
SM | JW | KM | MH | BM | JF | SK | NB
I broke out the responses into nine categories. Here's the key:
F - Friends and Aquaintances (including coworkers and such)
R - Relatives (including yourself)
M - Musicians
A - Actors (including Directors, Producers, and News Anchors)
S - Sports Athletes
P - Politicians
Fict - Fictional Characters
Hist - Historical Figures
Auth - Authors
Here is the number of responses in the above categories broken down by participant:
Now what have we all learned?
Answer: Dan apparently has a lot of time on his hands.