October 8th, 2015

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What's in a Name

This study showed how names influence imagination

I've always annoyed people trying to apply these tests, because I stop with, "I don't know anything more about that person.  All you've given me is a name.  That doesn't contain the information you're asking for."  Or a picture.  Or whatever.  Because it could be boy named Sue or a white Irish kid named Javier.

Sometimes when I'm naming characters they just tell me.  Sometimes I go looking for things that match.  I like using ethnic names because it's a chance for wider representation.  I often look up the demographics of a region to find locally common names and ethnic groups.  But every once in a while they do something off-pattern, like sex-swapped names, or the Louisiana woman who started screaming curses in Italian.

Assumptions are bug spots that'll stop you from seeing what's really in front of you.