Question of the Week: Just how important is a name?

September 14, 2011 Linda Rosenkrantz

One of the most basic yet most essential of questions this week: How important is a name?

Is a name central to one’s identity and destiny? Does a buttoned-up William have a better chance at a bank presidency than a free-wheeling Wylie? Are you making an important difference to your child’s future when you choose his or her name?

Or is it one factor among many in how people perceive you–as incidental as the color of your eyes or the wattage of your smile– but not necessarily the overriding one?

Or maybe, as Shakespeare suggested, a Rose would smell (and look and act) as sweet if she were named Bertha or Brooklyn.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being completely unimportant and 10 meaning you think a name is destiny, what importance do you place on a name?


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