Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.160.254.203

Forum Moderators: incrediBILL & lawman

Message Too Old, No Replies

Nominative determinism.

...destined for your job by name

     
11:34 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 22, 2003
posts:1260
votes: 0


As a kid I was an enthusiastic member of the RSPB's Young Ornithologists Club (YOC). The local YOC branch was run by a Mrs Bird, who was later awarded an MBE or similar for her dedication.

Ever since those days I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that people can have names which reflect their job or profession.

Through New Scientist [newscientist.com], which features the subject briefly this week and provides some fine examples, I learn for the first time that the phenomenon is called ‘Nominative Determinism’.

Two examples that I’ve come across in the last couple of months are:

Dr Mellon – food scientist
Prof. A. Bass - author of a scientific report on fish sounds (noted also by this week’s by New Scientist).

Any more?

Syzygy

12:08 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from FR 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 15, 2004
posts:6717
votes: 230


Brett Tabke..( think about it :)
2:37 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 13, 2002
posts:818
votes: 0


My city has a Dr. Safety First.
7:48 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 20, 2002
posts:1716
votes: 0


One of my favorite Washington Post columnists calls these "aptonyms."

Here are two:

Carolyn Hax, advice columnist.
Dr. Richard Chopp, urologist (does vasectomies in Austin, Texas).

8:55 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 17, 2004
posts:215
votes: 0


Is that why there are quite a few dentists with the name of Dr. Payne / Paine?

-sned

9:07 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:June 6, 2004
posts:2239
votes: 0


Perhaps this explains the name of the pleasant web developer who lives next door to me ... Mr. John Viagra#*$!enlargementmortageloanmesothelioma Smith. Up until now I thought it was a sort of odd name... ;)
9:09 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 12, 2002
posts:447
votes: 0


I've heard of a professor that teaches a wine class, named Dr. Vine.
9:10 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 28, 2003
posts:869
votes: 0


LOL cEM!
3:32 am on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 12, 2003
posts:1070
votes: 0


I sold some computer software to a Doctor Filth in the late 70's.

From the name, he must have been a proctologist :)

4:49 am on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 7, 2004
posts:660
votes: 0


The best known undertakers (Funeral Parlour) in my home town was "R. Body & Son".
11:34 am on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 7, 2003
posts:1404
votes: 0


Oct. 28, 2005 - Famed Houston scientist Richard Smalley dies

...shared a Nobel Prize for the discovery of buckyballs, helped pioneer the field of nanotechnology...
5:10 pm on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:June 16, 2004
posts:249
votes: 0


Around here I've seen business signs for:

- a veterinarian called Dr. Wolf
- Dentists named Dr. DelTufo (Del Tooth-oh?)and Dr. LIPkin

and my favorite - a proctologist by the name of Dr. HellBraun ("light brown" in German).

11:50 pm on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 20, 2002
posts:1716
votes: 0


My dog's old vet: Dr. Barkin

My cat's current vet: Dr. Mauser

Both at the same animal hospital.

12:51 am on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 4, 2004
posts:683
votes: 0


My lawyer's last name is Leech.

In spite of my tendancy to rant against lawyers, Leech is a nice man, we actually go for coffee now and then (and he doesn't even add it to his billable hours.)

His eldest son is a defective writer who survives by means of government art grants.

12:14 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member digitalghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 23, 2002
posts:3687
votes: 0


What about the opposite, as in the instance of Dr. Head, the podiatrist? Personally, I see nominative determinism as little more than chance occurrence, or a plan by someone with a bit of humor and the drive to choose a career that reflects their name.

And since we're talking about surnames, shouldn't the entire family line be examined? How many Mellons are food scientists? Or farmers? Or fruits? ;)

And how does nominative determinism fit in with the current job market? How many Chandlers are candle makers? Smiths blacksmiths or silversmiths? Coopers barrel makers? Wheelers wheelwrights? How does necessity fit in? How many Farmers had to farm in order to eat?

Just things I wonder about when I have too much time on my hands...

1:20 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 12, 2002
posts:447
votes: 0


How many Chandlers are candle makers? Smiths blacksmiths or silversmiths? Coopers barrel makers? Wheelers wheelwrights? How does necessity fit in? How many Farmers had to farm in order to eat?

I see that as more legit, for the reason that someone in the lineage held that job, and was probably passed down in the family at one time.

Guess I'm stating the obvious.

The other stuff, I just find amusing, not determinitive.

8:15 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Moderator from CA 

WebmasterWorld Administrator httpwebwitch is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 29, 2003
posts:4059
votes: 0


I know a chiropractor named Dr. Goldfinger
8:36 am on Nov 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 7, 2004
posts:929
votes: 0


My English teacher was James Bonte
2:24 pm on Nov 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 3, 2004
posts:6099
votes: 6


The orthopaedic surgeon in our local hospital is called Doctor Cartlidge.

We used to have a Doctor Donald Duck listed in the telphone directory here in the West of Scotland but I don't know if he was a quack?

On the subject of genuine funny names we seem to get a lot of these in Scotland. How about ...

Ewan Kerr
Isla White
Matt Black
Shona Dick
Kim Owen
Iona Gunn

There was also a poor guy in our area called Archibald Archibald. Parents ... why do they do it?

10:30 am on Nov 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 22, 2003
posts:1260
votes: 0


From this week's New Scientist [newscientist.com]...

Quadruple nominative determinism

...a case of quadruple nominative determinism. We would actually put it somewhere between triple and quadruple - but that is still pretty impressive. Marsh is referring to the book The Imperial Animal by Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox.

Lastly on this topic, Alex Gough has discovered that the chair of anaesthesiology and pain management at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, is William J. Tranquilli.

:-)

Syzygy

4:05 pm on Nov 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 6, 2005
posts:19
votes: 0


My University City has a plaque dedicated to a high flying Doctor whose surname was "Death".
7:58 pm on Nov 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 24, 2003
posts:21
votes: 0


My father is a Church of England minister, and claims he knew a cathedral-based Cannon who's name was Ball.
I wonder if there's a Catholic priest named Christmas anywhere? (father...)