The scourge of ‘Alphabetism’ (new paper from professor Zax)

Professor Zax, who is (amongst other things) an anthroponomastician at the Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder, US, presents (along with co-author Alexander Cauley) a new 48 page working paper which suggests that (males) who have a surname initial which occurs towards the end of the alphabet are more likely to end up academically and professionally undistinguished.

“Surnames with initials farther from the beginning of the alphabet were associated with less distinction and satisfaction in high school, lower educational attainment, more military service and less attractive first jobs.”

– say the team. The precise mechanisms, however, by which such effects might operate are perhaps suitable material for further anthroponomastical research.

See: Alphabetism: The Effects of Surname Initial and the Cost of Being Otherwise Undistinguished, University of Colorado Working Paper, Nov 2018.

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