Day 29 – What is not in a name?

14 Oct

I saw a headline this morning

English name clear advantage in landing job, researchers find

This does not surprise me at all. In university I had a friend with an ethnic name and he got sick and tired of not getting any responses to his job applications (during high school) so he changed his name to something English and he got a job right away.

What I think is more interesting is what the article didn’t say, specifically how this name bias affects people with strange-sounding English names. How difficult is it for someone named Supermann Kanadaflag or Sideeffects Firstdown to find work? I’m sure someone out there has named at least one of their kids Captain Starship. I know I would.

I read once that, in Germany, one is not allowed to name their kids just anything. I think some parents wanted to name their kid Pumuckl and the government said no. Pretty invasive if you ask me. Anyway all this leaves me wondering who would have a harder time finding a job, George Papahartofylakakopoulos or Starbuck Timeunit.

And there’s only one way to find out.

2 Responses to “Day 29 – What is not in a name?”

  1. Lottabot October 14, 2011 at 15:07 #

    In Finland you have to get the name for your kid approved by the government if the people in charge of registering the name request for your kid thinks the request is too weird (you can ask my bro, he knows everything about it). Also, if you fail to register a name for your kid within a certain amount of time after the kid is born a government computer will choose a name for your kid at random.

    I think it’s very sad that people in general (and English speaking people in particular) are so bias and non-innovative when it comes to giving names. Who want’s to live in a world where all guys are called Matt, David, or Matt and all chicks are called Sam??? Boooooring!

  2. Thea October 14, 2011 at 16:39 #

    I guess the German rule just wants to minimize problems for the children… they simply don’t give a d*mn about the parents and their ideas of what is innovative… they just care about the children and that after all, they are the ones who have to go through life and especially school with this name. So Pumuckl is a redhaired, mostly invisible, cute kobold in Kids TV… nice, do you want to be a 58 year old banker with that as a first name? You are practically forced to migrate into a country where never anyone heard of it… but then no one can pronounce it either. Then what does it mean in German? You can give your child an Indian or Turkish name, but when it describes cucumber or sh*thead in German, then think about it. Same restrictions apply to weather, places, girls names for boys and vice versa…. so you won’t find a German boy with the name Maria Sunshine Ottawa Müller anytime soon and somewhat I’m very happy about it…

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