Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wilbur, Olivia, Mercy Watson, Porky, Pigling Bland? Naming Characters

When people are given lists of names and photographs of faces, they can (supposedly) match them pretty accurately. And I know that when I read, the right name can bring a character into focus. But how similar are different people's reactions to the same names?

Let's try our own test: match up the names and faces below. You can right-click the image to see the real name (it's the file name). But do please tell your guesses! Your GUESSES are the fun part of this -- it will be really interesting to see if people make similar name-face associations.

The name choices for the faces below are:
Caroline, Hunter, Jaylin, Quinten, Mia, Aimee, Anthony, Jermaine, Kelly -- yes, one extra name. The comments explain why.

NOTE: THese kids are all aspiring models and actors and their pictures and first names were on the Web already.


Abigail Marble said...

wow -- I tried to cruise through really fast and go with my gut. To my surpirse, I got them all right except I mistook Anthony for a girl, so I called him Kelly. Pretty weird!

Libby Koponen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Libby Koponen said...

Oh, cool! Yes, isn't that WEIRD? That usally happened to me, too, when I've tried to guess names and faces on tests. It's enough to make you think there IS an almost magical connection.

I thought Anthony was a girl, too, which is why there is an extra, androgynous name.

Anyway, thanks for answering so fast and for going with your gut.

alvinaling said...

My guesses:
1) Anthony
2) Jermaine
3) Caroline
4) Jaylin
5) Hunter
6) Aimee
7) Mia
8) Kelly

I haven't checked if I'm right, although I'm really bad at faces and names and all that. I'll be back to comment after I check my answers.

alvinaling said...

Ha--only 3 right. Oh well. And I thought Anthony was a girl, too. Oh, I hope he doesn't find this and get a complex! I almost switched around and would have gotten Aimee right, too. Oh well.

I have a book about how names affect people's personalities, too--I started drafting a post about it, but never got around to finishing it. Really interesting stuff, and this was a fun exercise. Good luck in the naming of your characters.

Linda S. Wingerter said...

Where are the answers?

Anna Alter said...

That was fun, but hard! I missed them all except the first two. I think SO much has to do with personal experiences, people you've known of certain names over the years. I had a bully in grade school named Myra and I will always think of that as the meanest, cruelest name ever!

I do think you can change your associations though, I feel the same way about music. Some songs really sum up a memory or a time in your life, and bring back emotions you associate with it. But new experiences can change that...

alvinaling said...

Linda, if you right click on the photo or view "properties" you'll see the answers in the name of the file.

Anna Alter said...

Or if you have a mac just scroll over the photo and look at the lline of script at the bottom of the window...

Nancy said...

I pretty much got them all wrong.


And people often get my name wrong (coworkers, other acquaintances) and call me Karen. So maybe I'm just a wire-crossed person when it comes to face/name corellation.

Blue Rose Girls said...

This was fun! I was bad at it!

Blue Rose Girls said...

yeah, that was me... meghan. I'm signed on wrong. but oh, I have the power...

Libby Koponen said...

Thank you everyone for doing this and saying it was fun....and in a way it's reassuring that the names WEREN'T obvious. It makes picking one for a character not seem so momentous.

I'm curious though if there were any that were easier or harder? I didn't get to guess so I don't know, but to me Anthony just DID NOT look like an Anthony.

I would probably have guessed Jaylin. I think that's a good name for her, anyway.

Mia also seems well-named though I'm not sure I would have guessed right.

Quinten I think I would have guessed -- anyway that seems like a really good name for him.

I'm going to start practicing naming characters by naming strangers .... and if I'm feeling brave, I'll ask if I"m right.

ANyway thanks for playing!