Monday, December 29, 2008

The unbelievably accurately named Madoff

I have posted several times on the eerie syndrome the New Scientist has dubbed "nominative determinism," in which a person's name matches their profession or personality. With the name Sunshine, I can't help but be interested in this. I've seen so many of these so-called "aptonyms" that I've become rather used to them, but even I was floored by the news that a man named Madoff, which is pronounced "made off," was arrested for a giant Ponzi scheme in which he, yes, made off with $50 billion of other people's money. What can I say? I wish that my sunny, upbeat personality was all my own doing, just as Bernard Madoff must wish that he can throw all the guilt off himself by pleading nominative insanity. Whatever the answer to all this, it has already proven wonderful fodder for late night comedians. I think Jay Leno said it best: "Shouldn't the first clue have been the guy's name? Madoff, you know, as in 'made off with the money,' you know? I mean, who were his partners, Pilfered and Swindled?"


cpreston said...

We have a tax guy in Oceanside, CA whose last name is Cheatham. Sounds like a good tax guy to me.

Sunshine said...

That's great--if he was on Car Talk he could join "Dewey, Cheatham and Howe."