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What's In a Name?

I've sometimes found my last name misspelled, and I tended to assume that this was party because it isn't really a common one. Well, I went to http://www.census.gov/genealogy/names/dist.all.last and discovered that BURSTEIN is actually the 20,352nd most common surname in the USA. Here's what else I found:

BERNSTEIN is the 2,098th most common US surname
BURSTEIN is the 20,352nd most common US surname
BERSTEIN is the 38,576th most common US surname
BURNSTEIN is the 65,237th most common US surname

So I can understand why people might, on hearing my last name, spell it as BERNSTEIN...but why is it that people who see my name on the Internet tend to retype it as BURNSTEIN? That's far less common!


It makes perfect sense...

They're more likely to notice that there IS a "U" in the second position in the name than that there is NOT an "N" in the fourth position.

The place where the "U" is comes earlier than the place where the "N" isn't, and a positive is easier to remember than a negative.
thanks to the link i found out there are far fewer adkinses in this world than i thought. maybe we're all mostly just clustered in kentucky, tennessee and ohio.
It always blows my mind when people misspell mine. Smith really isnt that hard!
How do they misspell it? Schmidt? Schmitz?
Smit. Schmidt. Smythe.

Also, hotel reservations are often amusing. Evidently the only time someone gives the name Smith when reserving hotel rooms is when they are using a false name to cover an affair.
Interesting, Feld standing alone ranks higher than I anticipated: 11,388th.

Standing next to you, I feel so common . . . .

Edited at 2010-03-12 05:22 pm (UTC)
I'm 159 on the list and somewhere in the 22K range.

Not too shabby.
And all this time I thought you were related to Ellen Burstyn.
We might be. Some of the actors with the last name Burstein changed the spelling to Burstyn.

December 2016

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