Newswise – When you read your initials from left to right, do they form a word? If they do, is it a unattractive word like PIG or ZIT? Or is it an attractive word, like ACE, WOW or JOY? Scientists have seriously researched nominative determinism (and discovered that, for instance, people with the last name of “Doctor” actually DO tend to take up medical careers), so they wanted to know if having a bad “monogram” is detrimental to our health.

A new study in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine looked at California death records from 1905 to 2005 to confirm whether a statistical relationship existed between people’s initials and their longevity. Researchers Stilian Morrison and Gary Smith asked a group of students and faculty at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., to rank the initials that they would be most and least happy to have. The top choices were ACE, ICE, JOY, VIP, CEO, GEM, FLY, FOX, HIP, WIT and WIN. The most negative were KKK, DIE, ZIT, PIG, DUM, RAT, SOB, GAS, BAD, HOR, BUM and SIN.

The researchers analyzed the mortality data of white, non-Hispanic people who died from 1960 to 2003 and for all races from 1905 to 1959. They looked at a total of 4,201 males with positive initials, 6,485 males with negatives initials, 2,798 females with positive initials and 4,533 females with negative initials and compared their average ages at death.Males with negative initials lived slightly longer, on average, then those with positive initials, but the reverse was true of females, although neither difference was statistically significant.

Smith says, “The evidence failed to support the theory your initials define your destiny.” He says he undertook the study because “It shouldn’t be out there that if you give kids the initials ‘LUV,’ they’ll live 7 years longer.”

Baby name book author Pamela Redmond Satran says, “Every conventional naming book gives the guideline, ‘Don’t forget to look at the initials.’ [While] having bad initials is not going to shorten your life span, it could make what there is of your life less pleasant.” Especially if you like to get your clothes monogrammed.

Art credit: There are philosophies to follow if you want to have a happy, productive life and one of the best was given to Whitley by someone who didn’t give his name.

If you like our edge news, make sure we’ll be here tomorrow: subscribe today.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

Dreamland Video podcast
To watch the FREE video version on YouTube, click here.

Subscribers, to watch the subscriber version of the video, first log in then click on Dreamland Subscriber-Only Video Podcast link.