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“My friend wrote me the other day to tell me her new baby’s name was Nyla. My first reaction was excitement about the miracle of life. My second reaction was that, of course, her baby had a four-letter name.
American names are shrinking. The two most popular names in the US for baby boys in 2017 were Liam and Noah; for girls, Emma and Ava were two of the three most popular. That’s a dramatic shift from just a few decades ago. In 1990, no name in the top ten had less than five letters—the interminable Michael and Christopher topped the list. No name with fewer than six letters made the top five in 1990—thank you Jessica, Ashley, Brittany, Amanda, and Samantha.
Girls’ and boys’ name lengths both reached their peak in 1989, with girls’ names averaging over 6.4 letters, and boys’ names average about 6. Since then, the average girl’s name fell by 0.4 letters and the average boy’s name by over 0.2 letters. The US government data used for this analysis includes all names given to at least five babies in a given year, which is the vast majority of names.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The biggest topic in British political circles on Monday wasn’t the country’s impending departure from the European Union. It was milkshakes..."
"I often disagree with Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., but I've been disturbed by the idea that he should be run out of the Republican Party just because he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses."
"The Icelandic band Hatari, whose members are quite vocal in their animosity towards Israel, held up Palestinian flags... Madonna, likewise, had two of her performers wear Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes."
"To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, I turn to movie critic Roger Ebert's old review of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." (Trust me on this one.)"
"The money is already here—and has been for years. In the midst of a housing crisis, an injection of cash into the superheated real-estate market seems likely to cause an uptick in evictions and displacement."
"Parents concerned about YouTube debate whether to let their children have their own channels; some forbid it, others send them to summer camp..."
"‘I Had Completely Lost the Knack for Staying Alive..." Warmer weather brings daffodils, rhubarb at the farmer’s market — and, for some, despair."
"With his new book, Howard Stern proves that his rightful place is among the prophets and moral visionaries, not the ‘shock jocks’"
"I’m terrified of parenting in the anti-vaxxer age: Anti-vaccine propaganda isn’t just harmful to children. It threatens to erode our entire sense of community."
"...doctors are starting to think more about specific nutrients that feed tumor cells. That is, how what we eat affects how cancers grow..."
"...it represents an impressive achievement: a victory of humankind against the chaos that pervades the universe."
"If trends continue, in 20 years the majority of the world’s Jews will be living in Israel. The United States will see a continuing decline in overall numbers, with a growing observant Jewish population..."