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Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all... Stan the Statistician

Stan # 35: Popular names and a number puzzle June 2000

A little quiz for you. What were the three most popular names for girls and boys in England and Wales in 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994 and 1997? As my readers are quite an impatient lot, this time I have put the answers at the bottom of this desktop.

Did you know that the name Wendy was invented by J M Barrie, author of Peter Pan, so any Wendy you may know must have been born after the appearance of the book? Tracey came from the surname of Spencer. In France, until very recently, names had to be chosen from a state approved list. One couple had no end of trouble trying to call their little blessing Chanel (after Coco). Shows the French mentality. As a small part of me is French (suggestions as to which bit not required), I feel I can say this.

A little puzzle from Les...

What is the number less than 3,000 which:

when divided by 2 leaves a remainder of 1

when divided by 3 leaves a remainder of 2

when divided by 4 leaves a remainder of 3

when divided by 5 leaves a remainder of 4

when divided by 6 leaves a remainder of 5

when divided by 7 leaves a remainder of 6

when divided by 8 leaves a remainder of 7

when divided by 9 leaves a remainder of 8

when divided by 10 leaves a remainder of 9

Girls (most popular first):

1954 - Susan, Linda, Christine

1964 - Susan, Julie, Karen

1974 - Sarah, Claire, Nicola

1984 - Sarah, Laura, Gemma

1994 - Rebecca, Lauren, Jessica

1997 - Sophie, Jessica, Chloe


1954 - David, John, Stephen

1964 - David, Paul, Andrew

1974 - Paul, Mark, David

1984 - Christopher, James, David

1994 - Thomas, James, Jack

1997 - Jack, Daniel, Thomas

Noteworthy is the appearance in the top ten in 1997 (girls) Megan and (boys) Liam - though Jordan made an appearance in 1994.

Advertised in the Tic Times, which for those of you who are not subscribers, is the Torquay (England) Athletic Rugby Club's magazine: "New Year's Eve fancy dress party - date to be arranged."

A bargain of the week from the Swindon Evening Advertiser: "Line dance outfit 12/14, skirt and shirts £20, black stepson £40, new condition."

Durex sponsored a survey which showed that almost two thirds of 16-21 year olds thought that their Millennium partying would end with a Y2lay - one third with someone new (UK). I wonder if they did any follow-up research.

I am constantly being told that the World Wide Web was invented in the USA. It was not. It was in fact, invented by Tim Berners-Lee, an Englishman aged now 44. He also invented the name, designed URLs and wrote http and html. He also refused to capitalise on his creation by patenting it, so he made no money out of it. That's probably why we haven't heard of him. So there are other folk out there who, like me, do things just for fun.

I have been taken to task for straying too far from my original brief - statistics. Yes, Mavis, you are right. I will rectify this with a bumper stats edition soon. Stand by!

Check in again at my desk soon!

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