I should have ridden in today for many reasons. One of them being I would not have been forced to suffer the unending tripe of breakfast radio shows. Hunting around my normal Radio 4 frequency – having had my fill or terrorists and public service cuts – BBC Hereford and Worcester promised much in terms of mindless music and pointless chat to speed me through the early morning traffic.
But it couldn’t even manage that. The dopey presenter regaled the torpid (it was v. early) listener with a story of how teachers had identified the “naughtiest children by their names“. On reading this list, I was struck by a number of blindingly obvious facts, and one major concern.
1) All the naughty kids read out spookily correlated with the most popular children’s names since the year 2000. One could persuasively argue that the probability of a child called “Jack” being a bit cheeky has a slightly higher statistical possibility than one named Murgatroid.
2) I thought teachers were busy. Why would you spend one second creating this list? It’s not only very bad mathematics for a educational establishment, it’s probably also got paranoid parents flooding the deed pole help line.
3) How the hell have Brooklyn, Dwayne and Jade crept into the top 10 most popular names?
I know this stuff shouldn’t bother me. I appreciate that intellectual rigour has been superseded by look-at-me statistics and poor science, but surely even dead air is better than spouting such bloody nonsense?
On my return trip, my listening experience will be the aurial delight of road noise.