The name-letter effect
Driving on a highway in 1977, Belgian experimental psychologist Jozef Nuttin noticed that he preferred licence plates containing letters from his own name. In testing this idea, he found that it's generally
Driving on a highway in 1977, Belgian experimental psychologist Jozef Nuttin noticed that he preferred licence plates containing letters from his own name. In testing this idea, he found that it's generally so: People prefer letters belonging to their own first and last names over other letters, and this seems to be true across letters and languages. Nuttin found this so surprising he withheld his results for seven years before going public. (A colleague at his own university called it "so strange that a down-to-earth researcher will spontaneously think of an artefact".) But it's since been replicated in dozens of studies in 15 countries and using four different alphabets. When subjects are asked to name a preference among letters, on average they consistently like the letters in their own name best. (The reason seems to be related to self-esteem. People prefer things associated with the self — for example, they tend to favour the number reflecting the day of the month on which they were born. People who don't like themselves tend not to exhibit the name-letter effect.)
1. Trying to awaken my psychic ability by bicycling down a hill with my eyes closed.
2. I fell off a fake horse and broke my arm. The fake horse was a 1m-high barrel with legs.
3. Once kissed a reflection of myself on the outside of a metal toaster while in use, and seriously burned my lips. Technically my first kiss…
Following last week's modem installed in the wardrobe ... "You think that was bad," writes Dion. "I paid $100 to a registered English-speaking electrician for this."
Andrew got his first job even before he left tech. In his usual enterprising way, he went into the head office of [a large building firm] at lunchtime just before the end of the year, and asked if they had any vacancies. He was hired on the spot - and did very well. Recalling that event a few years later, the manager explained that only an hour before Andrew turned up, he had rung tech and asked them to send him their brightest student. He didn't know that wasn't Andrew - but timing is everything.