Friday, February 18, 2005

Name that song 

This showed up on Ed Tufte's Q&A boards today. It's one of the best pieces of programming I've ever seen. It has a blog attached that had for example this entry:
My NameVoyager is designed to give you a sense of names as history. In certain cases you can see the stamp of a single individual -- type in Shirley to see the huge impact of Shirley Temple in the '30s. At the opposite extreme, you expect fo find names sunk by a negative personal association. So one of the most examined names in the Voyager is Adolph.

I wouldn't have thought of that one. My wife and my ex-wife had songs with their names as the title around the time they were born, but not quite at the right times. I also mark the decline of 'Ernest' as predating Hemingway.

Likewise, mine is the 789th most popular name in the decade I was born, and fell out of the top 1000 by the 1970s. My cousins who use the Latin form were much more popular in the 1950s but dying off now (#745 in the 1990s.)

At least, when I was born, King was more popular than Regis.