Babies’ names are not carried far and wide by the internet

3 July 2009

Interesting premise, the rise of the internet, and even globalisation, has not quite created the global village that many people predicted it would.

At least this is the opinion of two researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, after studying names given to babies since 1995. They found naming trends tended to remain local rather global, despite the rise of email and the ability to spread ideas, and share information, quickly online.

The two researchers’ study of the spread of new names was prompted by their discovery that the relationship between the number of private e-mails sent in America and the distance between sender and recipient falls off far more steeply than they expected. People are overwhelmingly e-mailing others in the same city, rather than those far away.

Originally published Friday 3 July 2009.


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