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  • Hey, Vsauce. My name

  • is Michael. And my name is Kevin.

  • Names.

  • Humans give each other names

  • but so do dolphins. They use

  • whistle sounds and will respond to their whistle name

  • even when produced by a dolphin they don't know.

  • Personal names, personalized

  • things, signifying that the named thing is capable of

  • feeling. That it's worthy of empathy. The United Nations

  • Convention on the Rights of the Child has declared that every

  • human child born on earth has the right

  • to a name. Every country on earth has ratified the treaty,

  • except for three: South Sudan, the newest country on earth,

  • Somalia, which has no central government, and

  • the United States. Why?

  • Well, some organizations

  • inside the United States believe that the US

  • shouldn't have to listen to another authority and the treaty prohibits

  • the death penalty for children.

  • It's a moot point now but up until 2005 twenty-two states

  • allowed children to be executed

  • for crimes. The United States follows the treaty now but won't promise to

  • always do so. Dunce is

  • a bad name to be called but an even worse name

  • to be the origin of. Meet Duns

  • Scotus, born in 1266.

  • Popular in his time, later scholars looked down on his teachings as

  • clever but wrong. They were so critical, in fact, they took

  • Duns and turned his name into a noun meaning

  • a stupid person - a dunce.

  • Perhaps you'd rather have had the longest name

  • ever. A record held by a man born in 1904 whose name was 746 letters

  • long. You can listen to someone pronounce the entire name

  • on Wikipedia. What can't

  • a name be? Mononymous people only use

  • one name. You can name your kid Apple or

  • North or Moon Unit. You can name your kid

  • Football. But not everywhere. Some countries require parents to submit

  • their children's names to the government

  • for approval. New Zealand enforces a policy in which names

  • must not cause offence to a reasonable person,

  • not be unreasonably long and should not resemble an official title

  • or rank. For example, their courts recently forbid a mother

  • from naming her child "Sex Fruit."

  • But New Zealand has allowed some unusual names.

  • Right now, in New Zealand, there are children living

  • whose names are officially "Violence," "Midnight Chardonnay"

  • and "Number 16 Bus Shelter."

  • In 1996 a Swedish couple submitted their child's name

  • for official approval, "Albin." But in protest of the naming laws in place at

  • the time,

  • they spelled Albin like this

  • It wasn't accepted.

  • In the United States you can name your kid pretty much anything that doesn't

  • include obscenity,

  • numerals or symbols, which means, as Carlton Larson points out,

  • you can't name your kid R2-D2.

  • But you could, say, name your child

  • Adolf Hitler, which Heath and Deborah Campbell

  • did in 2006. Adolf Hitler Campbell

  • made headlines in 2009 after a bakery refused to put his name

  • on a cake for his third birthday. Shortly afterwards

  • child welfare officials took him and his other controversially named siblings away

  • from their parents and place them in foster care,

  • where they remain to this day. His parents are self-identified

  • Nazis and they live in

  • New Jersey, the latter of which makes them New Jerseyans.

  • If they lived in Kansas they'd be Kansan, if they lived in New York they'd

  • be New Yorkers, if they lived in Utah they'd be

  • Utahns. A name based on where something is from

  • is called a demonym, which means that even names

  • have names. An endonym is a name given to a place

  • by those who live there. An exonym is the name given to a place by those

  • who live elsewhere. But my favorite name for a name

  • is an autoantonym. A word that can mean the

  • opposite of its other meaning. For example,

  • the word "off," which can mean both

  • activated and de-activated.

  • For instance, the alarm went off,

  • so we had to turn it off.

  • You can track the distribution of your last name across the entire

  • earth using the public profiler.

  • Or visualize the popularity of the US' top

  • 1000 names over time. Studies have shown that your name

  • may influence your behavior.

  • The nameletter effect is a phenomenon in which people prefer

  • words, events, other people and places,

  • which contain letters similar to the letters inside their own

  • name. Measuring a person's preference for such letters

  • has been shown to be a good gauge of self-esteem.

  • Richard Wiseman's Quirkology is a great read on this topic. He mentions

  • "alphabetical discrimination." People with last names that begin with the letter

  • near the end of the alphabet tend to rate themselves

  • significantly less successful than people with names that begin with the

  • letter near the

  • beginning of the alphabet. Perhaps because

  • all their lives they've been put on the bottom

  • of lists. Also fascinating is the fact that men and women with

  • positive initials, like "A.C.E.,"

  • "H.U.G." or "J.O.Y."

  • live 3 to 4.5 years longer

  • than average. But men with negative initials, like

  • "P.I.G.," "B.U.M." or "D.I.E."

  • die about three years

  • earlier than average. But interestingly, women with negative initials

  • don't show much difference. Half of all

  • Americans share the same 1,712

  • last names. 1 percent of Americans have the last name

  • Smith. In China, 85%

  • share the same 100 last names. Two-hundred last names cover 96% of the population

  • in Vietnam, 40% of which have the same

  • last name.

  • This one.

  • Name Colleen can hurt people's feelings. It's at the very bottom

  • of Graham's hierarchy of disagreement. And, at the end of the day,

  • names are just words. As the saying goes,

  • sticks and stones may break my bones but words are merely the smallest element of

  • language capable of

  • containing meaning and isolation and, as such, could never directly produce the 4,000

  • newtons

  • of force per square centimetre required to break bones.

  • And as always,

  • thanks for watching.

Hey, Vsauce. My name

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Names

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/28
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