In the popular book Freakonomics that I read a few years ago, there’s a whole chapter devoted to the way names that parents give their babies filter down the socioeconomic ranks from high class to low class over the years. Of course I am skeptical, but it’s a pretty fascinating theory.
I’ve noticed that the authors and readers of this site tend to share similar tastes in names. The same names and styles of names crop up repeatedly in the forum, and the reason this is interesting is because they are often really unusual names. [name]Matilda[/name], for example. I can’t believe how many people list this as one of their top names (I’ll admit it’s one of mine), while there are no Matildas out there.
I’m trying to gauge if this phenomenon is simply because the members of this community became members in the first place because they found that they happen to share the authors’ taste when they were searching the net–and in this case, it’s a relatively small, enclosed community with specific subjective opinions.
On the other hand, I’m wondering if this community is in fact representative of the high-class community that Levitt talks about in his book, and the names that [name]Pam[/name] and [name]Linda[/name] laud are of a specific style that appeals widely to classy, trend-setting parents, meaning that names like “[name]Matilda[/name]” will be the next big hit. What I find to be ironic is that the names that are “hits” now are mostly held in distaste on this site BECAUSE they are hits; this community (understandably) doesn’t like overused names.
If the second situation is true, I’m wondering what’s to stop these currently cutting-edge and “stylish” names from filtering down the socioeconomic ladder and becoming out of style in a generation or so?