So, no snow today. However, power outages today. At least we get that part of a snow storm?
But, for my CS class (“Data Structures and Algorithms”), we have to write a program that does some trivial manipulations with baby name popularity records for the past 100 years. One part of the assignment is, and I quote:
“implement a method of your own that checks for names that meet some criteria of your own design. You must thoroughly document what your criteria is in the method comments. Part of your grade will be based on how original and creative this method is. Do not share this method with others or on the class discussion group. I don’t consider finding names that are palindromes very interesting.”
The method of my own that I chose checks for names that were generated via a markov chain that randomly generates names based on the data it found. Most of the names were kind of crummy: a, d, ba, he, ne, gr, paliamorisisela, binishakylirrryluarickandy, and so forth.
Here’s a histogram of name lengths (the X-axis is off by one):
Here’s a histogram of the name lengths found in the original data (both graphs are out of 1000):
But in the middle there are some actually kind of decent names. Shiendaba, Ckadesy (which if you remove the awkward C is kind of decent), Douly, Etheca, Farly is actually a name as is Amy, Lisha, Weteta, and so forth.
And to everyone who is considering mating with me, I *promise* I won’t name the kids Jongethay. No matter how much I hate children.
The other thing that my method does is correlate syllables with how popular the names were. For instance, the syllable “gab” appears in more highly-ranked names than, say, “mar.” As a matter of fact, “gab” on average is the most popular syllable, followed by “niel”, “zac”, “kait”, “nuel”, “leb”, and so forth. I don’t know why “nuel” and “leb” made it, it’s possibly a bug from my syllable finder. It’s a simple algorithm, scanning names for VCV, VCCV, and VCCCV and assuming those are syllables.
As I can say from my Visible Speech class that I took last semester, that’s a terrible way to find syllables. But it’s not a project worth spending hours developing a syllable-counter, just to get tied up in an assignment nobody’s going to read.
Anyway, I feel like Gabniel or Zackait are going to popular names in the coming century. I’m not so sure about Nuelleb, but I cannot tell the future more than I can tell what I had for lunch…
Speaking of which, as part of my venture to eat something new every month, my (very) accommodating boss at l5 took me out to Chango’s and I had a sort of fish taco for my new food of January. I could’ve done without the vast temperature and texture difference between the actual meat and the carrot shavings they put on it, but I feel like each ingredient individually would have been nice. Together, though, they confused my tongue and left me unsatisfied.