I heard an interview today with a guy who is an expert on names in Quebec. He’s studied the popularity of first names, and the patterns associated with them. It’s actually very interesting that someone can make a living doing this, but I’m glad that he does, because it gives me something to talk about in my journal.

Currently he says that the most popular names for baby boys in Quebec are William, Mathis and Jeremie. Popular baby girl names are Megane, Laurie and Ariane. I found a page with the rankings. 🙂 Other interesting name facts:

– The popularity of names works like an epidemic. It starts slow in one area, then grows rapidly until it peaks, then falls off drastically.
– A name’s popularity can be killed by its use in a famous song. The says it’s because people want to think that they’re being original, even though the name they’ve chosen is quite popular until the song uses it.
– Less surprisingly, a name can be killed off if it’s used to name a product. For example, Megan was a popular name in France until Renault named a car Megan. People stopped naming their babies Megan soon after that.

In the famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie says that the sweetest sound to someone’s ear is their own name. So, you should address people by their names whenever possible to make a good impression. I like this approach. We were taught something similar in journalism school. Names are very important. In fact, if we misspelled a name in an assignment, we would fail that assignment. Failing more than one assignment would mean failing the course. Failing the course meant immediately being kicked out of journalism school. Needless to say, we all learned to spell names really well. That habit has stuck with me too. I can spell people’s names, even if they don’t regularly use their real name, or if they shorten their real name to something else. 😉

Anyway, do you like your name? I have always been uneasy about the name Kevin. There are very few famous Kevins, and the ones that are out there are not my favorites. But, I’ve gotten used to it, and I don’t have any other name I’d rather be called. So, Kevin it is. 🙂