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Huh. I didn’t know New Scientist came up with the term. They certainly didn’t come up with the concept. I read a whole book about it, years before 1994. The author phoned people up whose names lined up with their professions.

Some people were like, “how dare you, sir! I chose my profession for the most serious of grownup reasons!” And some were like, “why yes, being born Lester Buttpeep did influence my decision to become a proctologist.”

My favorite personal example was the kitten I rescued on 6/6/06. Naturally, I named him Damian. The vet was like “lady, are you sure you want to do that?”

I’m confident Damian would have grown up to be a hellcat even if I named him Princess Pinkie Fluffybunny, but he was every inch a Damian.

Today, I ran across a real corker of an example in, of all places, New Scientist:

A few months ago, Dr Organ – Dr Jason Organ – was named the new editor-in-chief of the journal Anatomical Sciences Education. This added flesh to the nominative determinism tradition that is occasionally evident in body-parts-centric medical journals, starting (as far as Feedback is aware) with the publication Brain. Henry Head and Russell Brain were each its editor, at different times, Head from 1905 to 1923, Brain from 1954 to 1967.

Those heads of Brain achieved a sort of medico-literary ecstasy in the December 1961 issue of Brain. Readers could savour an article there titled “Henry Head: The man and his ideas”, authored by Russell Brain. It was Brain head Brain on Brain head Head, in Brain.

I almost had to draw a sentence diagram.


Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 16, 2023, 7:46 pm

Heh, no.

Farmers, gardeners, and factory workers.
Kinda hard though, it’s a patronymic that goes back to Harold’s invasion.

Though apparently the English branch of the family is quite hoity toity.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 16, 2023, 8:33 pm

So … essentially names create some verbal form of an Escher print where originally a farmer was formally named Farmer because he was a Farmer who now becomes a farmer because he is named Farmer?

My brain hurts… but I probably just need a stiff drink.

Comment from ExpressoBold Pureblood
Time: March 16, 2023, 8:39 pm

Clever last sentence…
Sad, though:

“Bond… James Bond”

has morphed into

“Organ… Dr. Jason Organ.”
On the good news side of the ledger, Count de Monai, my CPA, has informed me that my bank is well capitalized and safe to exceed the FDIC limits. HooRay.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 16, 2023, 9:10 pm

@ExpressoBold – not to worry, Brandon and Janet have promised taxpayers won’t be hit for the bailouts, so your money won’t be used to protect your money and the money of the chosen.

It seems the government has a secret business apart from taxes, fees, fines, leases and so forth from which they derive funds for this sort of thing. Perhaps Joe and Janet will be creating art that they intend to sell in the gallery that sells Hunter Art. Or perhaps they’re going to magnanimously use the kickback money the Bidens et al have been accumulating from Ukraine, China, and other nefarious sources.

(it will be used to protect the money of the chosen, and they didn’t choose you)

Comment from ExpressoBold Pureblood
Time: March 16, 2023, 9:35 pm


Thanks evah soo maauch!!!

I think you have just described Modern Monetary Theory which employs the incantation “PRESTO! CHANGE-O! at the end of every currency transaction.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 16, 2023, 11:03 pm

@Durnedyankee — The govt’s secret business is simply counterfeiting. It’s “secret” because they’ve got disturbingly expert at gas-lighting, Orwellian newspeak, and magical thinking.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 16, 2023, 11:09 pm

Nominative determinism, eh? I couldn’t help but immediately think of a really bizarre-o Maryland politician and disbarred lawyer named Robin Ficker. I bet his name is German.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 16, 2023, 11:16 pm

@Uncle Al – magical thinking – you mean like declaring inflation is down %5 because the price of Consolidated California Fujiyama Smog Bags has dropped 30%, while the price of eggs, beef, flour, rent, natural gas, electricity, and all the other things we use day in day out every week have risen only %25?

Orwellian – I keep waiting for the Whitehouse spokes cabbage patch kid to announce the chocolate ration will be increased to 12 ounces from 20 ounces.

Comment from OldFert
Time: March 17, 2023, 12:03 am

The Nominative determinism is strong with our president, Joe Isuzu.

Comment from technochitlin
Time: March 17, 2023, 1:19 pm

We all joke about it, but the plain fact is that the Anglosphere is in real trouble. In fact, we are ripe for a “strong leader” who will fix all our problems. Shades of 1938. I don’t have a good answer and I suspect none of us do. The future ain’t turnin’ out like it was supposed to…

Comment from Warren
Time: March 17, 2023, 2:49 pm

As affirmation of Nominative Determination, I present to you my daughter, Brenna Yursik, doctor of emergency medicine.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 17, 2023, 8:27 pm

@Warren — LOL! Wait’ll she runs across Ima Notzik.

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