A Leonard by any other name

June 9, 2008

Just so you know what a saint I am:

What’s in a name? Possibly a life of crime.

An unpopular name – like Alec, Ernest, Ivan, or Malcolm – is more likely to spell trouble than favourites Michael, Matthew or Christopher, according to research presented Saturday at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of B.C.

“There is a positive correlation between unpopular first names and juvenile delinquency,” said Daniel Lee, an economics professor at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

I don’t know where “Leonard” (the name my parents stuck me with) is on the Popularity Name Index Lee constructed to do this study, but according to this, it’s only the 591st most given name in America, which means I should have been a psychopathic troublemaker before I even got to high school. “Leo,” which I started using in high school, is 258th, on the other hand, which means I am only antisocial enough to be a journalist.

I’m not sure Leonards are cut out to be criminals, though there was another Leonard in my high school class who was a bit of a hood. By today’s standards, though, he’d be considered a goody two-shoes. 

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One Response to “A Leonard by any other name”

  1. Harl Delos Says:

    Maybe you could print “Ars Gratia Artis” right below your photo, and send your resume to the New York Public Library. Who knows, maybe one of those literary lions on their front steps may be retiring soon.

    I was born like this, I had no choice
    I was born with the gift of a golden voice
    — Leonard Cohen


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