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你喜欢父母给你的名字么?

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发表于 2018-6-30 18:16:16 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
  “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most
important sound in any language.” So said Dale Carnegie in his 1936
self-improvement classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” That is
probably true for a majority of the population — 79 percent like their names,
according to a 2013 survey of 1,844 respondents.
          “请记住,一个人的名字,无论用什么语言说出,在那人听来都是最动听、最重要的声音,”戴尔.卡耐基(Dale
Carnegie)在1936年的励志经典《人性的弱点》(How to Win Friends and Influnce
People)里说。大多数人可能确实如此——据2013年对1844名受访者进行的一项调查,79%的人喜欢自己的名字。
          Unfortunately, I am in the other 21 percent. I cringe a little whenever I
hear someone say my name, and have ever since I was a child. One of my earliest
memories is of a lady in a department store asking me my name and bursting out
laughing when I said, “Arthur.”
          不巧,我归另外那21%。一听到有人说出我的名字,我就会有点难堪,从小就这样。我最早记得的一件事,是百货公司里一位女士问我名字,我说“亚瑟”(Arthur),她就大笑起来。
          Before you judge that lady, let’s acknowledge that it is actually pretty
amusing to meet a little kid with an old man’s name. According to the Social
Security Administration, “Arthur” maxed out in popularity back in the ’90s. That
is, the 1890s. It has fallen like a rock in popularity since then. I was named
after my grandfather, and even he complained that his name made him sound old.
Currently, “Arthur” doesn’t even crack the top 200 boys’ names. Since 2013, it
has been beaten in popularity by “Maximus” (No. 200 last year) and “Maverick”
(No. 85).
          先不去评判那位女士,我们还是承认,碰见小孩起了个老年人的名字确实是很好笑的事。根据美国社会安全局(Social Security
Administration)的统计,“亚瑟”的人气在90年代达到了顶峰。19世纪90年代。从那以后,它的流行度就像石头一样坠落。我的名字是随了爷爷的,连他都嫌这个名字让他显老。如今,“亚瑟”都进不了男孩常用名的前200位。从2013年至今,它的受欢迎程度还不及“马克西莫斯”(Maximus,去年是第200位)和“马弗里克”(Maverick,第85位)。
          One thing I constantly hear from people I meet for the first time is, “I
imagined you as being much older.” I don’t take this as flattery, because at 54,
I’m really not that young. What they are saying is that they imagined someone
about 100 years old. Why? Because people actually tend to look like their
names.
          总是听到初次见面的人对我说,“我还以为你要老得多呢。”我不觉得这是奉承话,我54了,没那么年轻。他们的意思是在他们想象里我应该是个百岁老人。为什么?因为,人如其名是确有其事的。
          In a study last year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
researchers placed images of unfamiliar faces in front of participants and asked
them to guess the person’s name from a list of four plausible-seeming names. The
participants should have guessed correctly 25 percent of the time. Instead, they
got it right 38 percent of the time. The researchers found similar results
across eight studies.
          去年《个性与社会心理学杂志》(Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology)上刊载了一项研究,研究人员给受试者看一些陌生面孔的照片,让他们从都挺合理的四个选项里猜出照片上那个人的名字。受试者猜对的几率应该是25%,但事实上他们猜对了38%。研究人员在8项研究里都得到了类似的结果。
            
            
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发表于 2018-6-30 19:30:32 | 显示全部楼层

          In case you are wondering, this fact and others make up part of an entire
field called onomastics. Onomasticians, who are trained in various scholarly
subdisciplines, study proper names, and many of their results are fascinating.
One of my favorite onomastic studies comes from the economist David Figlio, who
found that boys with more feminine-sounding names tend to misbehave
disproportionately upon entry to middle school compared with boys with more
traditionally masculine names. So if your son is in trouble after beating up
another kid, it’s probably your own fault for naming him “Robin.” (His victim is
probably named “Arthur,” by the way.)
          如果你有兴趣了解,这些事实属于叫作“专名学”(onomastics)的研究领域。专名学家们来自不同的分支学科,他们研究专有名称,很多研究成果都很有趣。我最喜欢的一项专名学研究出自经济学家戴维.费利奥(David
Figlio),他发现起了女孩气名字的男生进入中学之后,比起传统男性化名字的男生更有可能出现品行不端的情况。所以要是你儿子因为打了别的孩子惹出麻烦,有可能是你的错,错在给他起名叫“萝宾”(Robin)。(顺便说一句,他欺负的孩子很可能叫亚瑟。)
          Another finding of note, published in the Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology in 2002, is that people gravitate toward places of residence and
occupations that resemble their own names. So, the researchers assert, a higher
proportion of men named Louis live in St. Louis than would occur at random, and
a lot of people named Dennis or Denise become dentists. It had never occurred to
me that there were dark forces at work making me into Arthur the author. It all
makes sense now.
          《个性与社会心理学杂志》2002年刊载过另一个值得注意的发现:人们会被与自己名字相似的居住地或职业吸引。所以研究人员断定,名叫路易斯的男性居住在圣路易斯市的比例要高于随机分布的比例,而很多名叫丹尼斯(Dennis)或德妮丝(Denise)的人后来成了牙医(dentist)。以前我从来没想过是一些冥冥之中的力量使我成了作者(author)亚瑟(Arthur)。现在这就全都说得通了。
          One way to attenuate the impact of a name you don’t like is to marry
someone with a name that somehow offsets yours — in my case, someone with a name
that is a little more up-to-date. But I did the opposite: I married Ester. This
was a pretty common name in her native Barcelona in the 1960s, but here in
America it mostly predates World War I. To make matters worse, after we married,
our first home was in Boca Raton, Fla. We were aggressively pursued by
telemarketers for burial plots and Medigap insurance.
          要是你不喜欢名字的某种影响,有一个补救的办法就是跟名字与你互补的人结婚——拿我的情况来说,就是该找个名字稍入时一点的。可我正好反过来了:我的妻子叫艾丝特(Ester)。1960年代在她老家巴塞罗那这是个挺常见的名字,可是在美国基本上属于一战以前。更糟的是我们结婚后第一个家安在了佛罗里达州的博卡拉顿(Boca
Raton)。卖墓地和医保补充险的各种电话推销员对我们是穷追不舍。
          I once heard that to have an aversion to a name is a condition called
nomomisia. I suppose you would say I suffer from autonomomisia. Yes, I am an
autonomomisist.
          我曾经听说厌恶某个特定名字是一种病,叫厌名症(nomomisia)。我猜你会说我得的是“自厌名症”(autonomomisia)。没错,我就是个自厌名者。
          Still, it’s important to keep things in perspective. Like everything else
in life, it could be a lot worse. Years ago, my mother and I were talking about
all this. I asked her about her second choice for my name. How about David?
“David Brooks” has a nice ring to it. After all, “David” was the second most
popular boys’ name the decade I was born and was also my beloved father’s name.
She thought about it for a minute and said, “Well, we thought about naming you
Chester.”
          不过,看开一点还是很有必要的。人生里所有事都一样,本可能还要糟糕得多呢。好几年前,我和母亲聊到名字的事,我问起当初给我起名时的备选方案。叫戴维(David)怎么样?戴维.布鲁克斯这名字挺好听的。毕竟在我出生的年代“戴维”在最流行男孩名字里排第二,而且我亲爱的爸爸就叫戴维。她想了一会儿说:“哦,我们想过叫你切斯特(Chester)。”
          You know, on second thought, Arthur’s not so bad.
          这个,我又想了想,“亚瑟”也不算太差。
            
            
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