Keeping Up With the Garcias

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Smith is the #1 surname in America. But for the first time ever, two Hispanic names, Garcia and Rodriguez, have pushed into the top ten…and not just pushed, but Garcia shot up to #7.

I’ve always thought names were an interesting way of identifying people. NPR did a segment a few years ago on a common name(I forget what it is exactly, but let’s say it was John Smithson). Two Englishmen, while getting sloppy on grog, discover one of them shares a name with an acquaintance of the other. So, when John Smithson and Bill Anderson are sipping ale, it turns out Bill has heard of another John Smmithson. So, in their completely rational mindset, they jump on a train and travel for hours to seek out the other John Smithson. As they network this through, they find more and more folks by the same name. Turns out, as their research progressed, they met a couple who’d actually changed their names(both of ’em, his AND hers) to John Smithson, just for the pure novelty of it.

It really makes you wonder…what’s in a name? Marvelyne and I often joke that, due to the uniqueness of both of our names, on paper, most folks probably assume we’re black. And according to this same study, there is a big racial divide within names, too. 90% of everyone named Schmidt is white, while 90% of Washingtons are black.

Yet, America being the great melting pot that it is, somewhere down the line, there are going to be round-eyed white guys with blonde hair name Martinez, and dark skinned dark haired ladies named Davis-all the more evidence that America remains the most diverse culture on earth

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