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If you want to have more fun at the expense of language pedants, try developing an hypercorrection habit.
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jramboz
2664 days ago
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This was especially funny to my friends and I.
Arlington, VA
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7 public comments
rgsunico
2662 days ago
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So cruel. LOL
Quezon City
marcrichter
2665 days ago
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:D
tbd
JayM
2665 days ago
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Ha. :)
Atlanta, GA
Andi_Mohr
2665 days ago
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Ahead of Spock? Hmm.
raorn
2665 days ago
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Alt text: If you want to have more fun at the expense of language pedants, try developing an hypercorrection habit.
jbroxson
2664 days ago
will... not... fall... into... trap....
toddmichaelryan
2665 days ago
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#1 thing I learned in grad school is to make sure to say datum for the singular and data for the plural
2665 days ago
AUGH!
eraycollins
2665 days ago
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I haven't polled them, but probably all the proofreaders I have known are plotting your demise.

The Baby Name Wizard

4 Comments and 15 Shares

The OKCupid statistics blog, by Christian Rudder, is amazing. Sadly, it hasn’t updated since 2011, around when OKCupid was bought by Match.com. (Rudder says the timing was a coincidence—he took time off for another project, and the blog may return soon!)

In the meantime, I’d like to recommend another unexpectedly engrossing blog: The Baby Name Wizard blog, by Laura Wattenberg (creator of the amazing Name Voyager graphing tool).

I find the Baby Name Wizard blog fascinating because, like the OK Cupid Blog, it combines two key ingredients:

  • Access to rich data about something that comes up all the time in our lives
  • The ability to find and tell the stories in that data

The reason I like the blog has nothing to do with naming babies. (I’m not allowed to name babies, anyway.)

I like it because we all encounter names every day, all the time, in every part of our life. We all have feelings and opinions about what names mean, but if you’re like me, they were mostly unconscious, unquestioned, and never subject to any statistical rigor. (Freakonomics has a well-known chapter about naming trends, which Wattenberg takes issue with).

Nevaeh (“Heaven” backward) is currently a more popular baby name than Sarah.  Brooklyn is more popular than either, and Sophia is more popular than all three combined. In 20 years, those names will conjure up images of college kids, and Brandon and Sarah will sound as much like Mom and Dad names as Gary and Debby do to my generation.

If you’re like most people, you probably had some opinions when you read the names in the last paragraph. But maybe the biggest thing I’ve learned from reading this blog is that the reactions and stereotypes that names provoke often reveal more interesting stories than the names themselves.

For example, you may have heard the urban legend about a mother who named her daughter Le-a, pronounced “Ledasha”. Wattenberg dissects this urban legend in an insightful essay (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), which explains how apocryphal names like Le-a serve, across a wide variety of communities, as proxies for talking about race.

Here are a few of the other things I’ve learned from the blog:

That’s just a tiny sampling; if you think any of it sounds interesting, I recommend browsing through the blog’s extensive archives.

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jramboz
2906 days ago
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Arlington, VA
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rclatterbuck
2907 days ago
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.
sstrudeau
2907 days ago
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This is excellent h/t Satadru
Brooklyn, NY
satadru
2908 days ago
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Can't wait until "!" swings back into popularity.
New York, NY
redson
2909 days ago
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I miss the OKCupid blog. Glad to have something else to look at.
mgeraci
2907 days ago
It's definitely coming back this year, don't worry!