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Subject: one explanation ... (replying to Siri also)
Author: mirfak   (Authenticated as chazda)
Date: June 2, 2006 at 9:04:18 AM
Reply to: Re: Attn. Mike - Ratings by Aggie
Each pair of characteristics needs to have about equally positive or negative connotations, or else people are likely to just choose the more positive for names they like, and vice versa for names they dislike; and avoiding certain stereotypes seems desirable since not all names would fit (for example) on one end of the jock/brain continuum.

So "Nerdy vs. Unintellectual" is instead of things like:

bookworm vs. flirt (not really opposites; overstatement)
brainy vs. brawny (suggests gender stereotype)
analytical vs. pragmatic (ten-dollar words)
observant vs. participator (not a useful or interesting distinction)

Can you think of a better way to express this pair of "opposites"? I couldn't, although I agree that "nerdy v unintellectual" isn't ideal.

Also, it seems that having some pairs of "opposites" be negative (like strange / boring and nerdy / unintellectual) gives people an opportunity to indicate that they have some of these negative reactions to names. I mean, if it were "exotic vs. usual" and the name is Nevaeh, you can't really say it's usual, but neither would you wish to claim it is exotic ... A lot of the time when a name is unfamiliar it really does seem "strange," and much of the time a well-used name is called "boring" by a lot of people. I agree the "strange / boring" split seems odd, but I'm not sure I can think of any pair of words that doesn't have other drawbacks for the purpose of the rating survey.

- mirfak

This message was edited by the author on June 2, 2006 at 9:13:12 AM

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