Affinity

We have some names picked out, that after a few weeks of saying them to ourselves now and then we haven’t come to hate the utterance of. I suppose that’s a good sign.

For some reason we decided we wanted to keep our name selection to ourselves until the actual day, though as you’ve seen we’ve shared some of the rejects. Hopefully you won’t mind the suspense. We’ve had a spreadsheet going for this process since around week 12, to which we’ve made occasional trips; lots early on, then long lapses interspersed with anxiety-besotted review, then more lapses. We checked some baby name books out from the library, read through them with the surprising speed possible when you’re rejecting almost everything you see and not trying to memorize. The spreadsheet acquired more columns for commentary, and then for preference scoring, and so forth.

Beth and I have fairly divergent aesthetic tastes, so it’s been a surprise how noncontentious this process has turned out to be. In a state of faint disbelief that we’d gotten through so much of it so readily, I eventually added a couple of scatter plots depicting our affinity distributions:

Essentially, what you see there is the distribution of our individual preferences and a representation of how much or how little we agree on names. A plot whose points fell along an f(x)=x line (that is, diagonally up and to the right) would signify total agreement. What we in fact see is that we agree, in a very general sort of way, on girls’ names. On boys’ names, we’re closer to a f(x)=-x orientation, a perfect version of which would signal perfect disagreement. Fortunately, there are some outliers in the upper right corners of both plots, and there’s a decent chance we’ll end up using one of them.

Subjectively, we found that on the arbitrary scoring range we used, I had a higher liking for girls’ names, and Beth rated boys’ names higher on the average. I suppose that speaks to our gender psychology a bit. That offset isn’t really visible in the plots because they’re normalized for the upper end of the range.

We might be a bit less rigorous about middle names, though.

– Devin

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