Nominative determinism and Dr. Unk driving

I have to admit, I've always thought that a person's name can often combine with fate with ironic and sometimes cruel results. Some examples? Usain Bolt - the world's fastest runner. Or maybe Rich Ricci, Barclay's Bank former head of corporate and investment banking, famous for being the recipient of outrageous sums of money (in 2010 he received a monstrous salary of £44 million - which included £3.35 million from a long-term incentive award, £9 million in bonuses and £30 million in shares).

How about Daniel Snowman - the author of the book 'Pole Positions: The Polar Regions and the Future of the Planet'- or Richard Trench, who wrote in 1993 a book called 'London Under London: A Subterranean Guide'? And let's not forget about Dr. Rash, Dermatologist, or Dr. Burns-Cox, Urologist... I can already imagine the puzzled expression on their patient's face at the first appointment.

Apparently it's not coincidental. Jen Hunt of the University of Manchester explains that people prefer things that are connected to the self, and tend to gravitate around areas that fit their surname. There's a science that studies the phenomenon, called 'nominative determinism', which began to be taken seriously only after the 2002 publication of an article about it on the 'Journal of Personality and Social Psychology'.

I wonder if the recent arrest for drunk driving of a doctor called Dr. Unk has something to do with it. 38 years old Elizabeth Unk was charged this week with DUI and vehicular assault in Delaware, Ohio, after knocking down a cyclist while driving with an blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit. Could it be a case of extreme nominative determinism?

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