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Advantages to having a surname beginning A-L in alphabet?

(77 Posts)
Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 07:02:06

I've always had a bit of theory that if you have a surname that begins with a letter in the top half of the alphabet you have a slight advantage in life.

As regards Primary schoools, I help out at the school and things are often done alphabetically. With the As and Bs you are not in so much of a rush when you listen to them reading etc, they tend to have more of your time. Not lots more but marginally more.

You may look at your watch, know you have limited time and need to hurry through the next 5 or so readers (further down the alphabet). Of course you try to apportion time fairly but this can happen.

When it comes to activities and special treats often again the register is used as a guide. Those with surnames in the early part of the register get to go first. This can build confidence over time maybe? In my school we had very confident children with the surname Aitken, Allen, Appleton Bell and Collins!

My surname fell at the end of the alphabet. I can still remember the rare times the teacher decided to work through the register in reverse order, with the Zs first! I remember I missed my go as I was away from school that day!

I also remember (when older) sulking at the back of the exam queue waiting to go into the examination hall with the Ss, Ts and Ws! It took an age.

chimchar Wed 30-Sep-09 07:06:14

cortina..i think you may be right! growing up i was right in the last few letters and i WAS always last! now, i am in the first few letters and i seem to get promotions etc through the post before some of my friends who are further down the alphabet..

my kids often come home from school having done things which their m, n, o, p etc mates have had to wait until the next day to do....

mmmmm. food for thought!

Blackduck Wed 30-Sep-09 07:25:47

maybe right (I am a B so early in alphabet). Ds is a W so late ... but teachers should mix it up, sometimes start at A and sometimes at Z - thats what dp does when he is lecturing....

nooka Wed 30-Sep-09 07:26:24

Doesn't your school ever run from the bottom of the register or use other criteria? That's a bit rubbish really. I can remember all sorts of different ways to choose order (eye colour, height, first names etc). My surname is fairly early in the alphabet - I can't remember feeling particularly advantaged by it.

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 07:31:53

They also get to take the class mascot home just after the children have been told how wonderful it is.

Waiting two terms to get the mascot home is a bit frustrating when you're 5!

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 07:32:50

To Nooka, yes it does but only once every 3 terms or so it seems.

Blackduck Wed 30-Sep-09 07:34:55

Sounds to me like your school is rubbish at it = have a word?? As others have said there are numerous ways of dividing the class up and going A-Z in the alphabet is just plain unimaginative...... Class mascot here is rewarded for good behaviour (really hoping ds dosen't get it becuase you have to fill a book in with all the exciting things it has done...)

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 07:44:56

Oh yes Blackduck this term Boffin the bear has been:

Skiing
Winsurfing
Hanging upside down from a cable car
Eating in the best restaurants
At ballet and football
At country mansions
Swimming in an olympic sized pool

All is documented and hand written in cursive writing by year one child! Well not quite, usually the parents do it in their left hand I think Lines for the date and title of his escapes.

Boffin is child sized and every story ends with a photo of him sleeping with the child he visits.

Oh and you don't know when Boffin will appear complete with his dressing up box and bag! He stays one night only and you must hand the book back the next morning with his exploits suitably documented!

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 07:45:52

That should read his escapades!

Blackduck Wed 30-Sep-09 07:52:54

flamin' hell - can I be Boffin the Bear!!???

I was lucky I got 'Jellybeans' when he had started a new diary so I didn't have all the pressure..... grin

katiestar Wed 30-Sep-09 09:30:28

Ah yes ' the curse of being a W '

fircone Wed 30-Sep-09 09:53:59

Bloody school bears. Flippin' Bramley Bear launched a charity appeal in memory of the dead granddad the week before he came to us. It made his weekend here going to the baker's look total pants.

When I was at primary school we were ranked in age. I can still remember about the first ten people's exact birthdays. I thought that worked quite well as then the teacher could see who was doing well or who needed to be cut some slack.

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 10:05:26

Katiestar tell me more about 'the curse of being a W'. How did that impact on you?

To fircone I share your pain re: Bramley. Boffin had a very dull overnight stay with us, quite pedestrian, he was photographed in front of the TV with my children eating crisps. Done to wind up the 'organic Mums'!

I actually found it stressful, especially when the printer got stuck and I couldn't print off the photos. We only had one school night to document his damned stay and no warning of Boffin's arrival!

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 10:07:33

Just to add re: what fircone said...I still remember when a pearly king and queen visited our primary.

They had a doll dressed in a pearly queen outfit, we all wanted it. They gave it to the youngest girl in the class! Well I suppose they had to decide somehow.

StretchFucksTheMailDaily Wed 30-Sep-09 10:14:00

Haha! Our 'Takehome Ted' was photographed watching the footy with DH and drinking bear!! grin

The disadvantages of having a surname A-L was in year 8, having the TB jab first!!! On presentation days/project days, having to be first to read out work while M-Z had an extra day to work on it!

MrsGhoulofGhostbourne Wed 30-Sep-09 10:15:38

Interesting - had never thought about is before...

iwouldgoouttonight Wed 30-Sep-09 10:15:52

Oh no, DS is a 'T', has an end of August birthday and is a boy. He may as well give up now!! wink

bruffin Wed 30-Sep-09 10:17:52

My DCs (we are W) used to moan at primary as when there was fruit left over from the infants, it used to be given out in alphabetical order and there was never any left for them.

Also DD just started at secondary, not very happy as in some classes they seat in alphabetical order and she is last and sometimes on her own at the back.

Fennel Wed 30-Sep-09 10:42:50

It's a studied effect, people with surnames early in the alphabet do better academically. in my line of work they are more likely to become professors, for instance, those who are B.. . . not W...

tis irritating for those of us at the end.

Cortina Wed 30-Sep-09 10:50:15

That's really interesting.

We've mentioned a few tenuous things here, but if they don't use the alphabet in schools in the way they do in mine more generally then why?

Interesting too about children being at the back of the class if at the back end of the alphabet. Think that's how my form room was done I was an S and next to a T.

In fact T became my friend, so it also influenced my friendship group!

AttilaTheMum Wed 30-Sep-09 11:00:20

I always do the class lists on the computer for all the teachers & one always used to ask for her list in random order & would change it every half term - but then her name began with U, so maybe she had experience!

I think she may have had an influence on the other teachers, because they tend to use other ways of sorting - so if the Year 3 teachers are sending the children to get their bags from the cloakroom at the end of the day, they will say for example - everyone with red hair, then everyone with a b in their name, or everyone born in May

Lilymaid Wed 30-Sep-09 11:04:12

Yes, I've always suffered from "alphabetism" and wished that I had been born a Bennett rather than at the end of the alphabet. It is probably best not to be the first in the alphabet (always having to be the first when you haven't had the benefit of seeing what other children have done) but if you are at the end the teachers have run out of time/not looked that far down the list etc etc.
I blame it all on my parents!

Blackduck Wed 30-Sep-09 11:16:08

I need to ask dp about this (he is a w) so we are about as far apart as you can be (I am a B). Can't really recall if it effected me at school. Ds's school do a lot of stuff by table (he is a shark and deeply pissed off about it I might tell you...)
But Cortina, you didn't answer my question - can I beBoffin the Bear - happy with a packet of crisps in front of the telly every so often ...

Oh at dp is a Prof so he has proved the exception to the rule wink

notagrannyyet Wed 30-Sep-09 11:17:17

When I was at school it wasn't just whether you were an A or W surname. The boys all came first on the register so they got to do everything first. If you were a W female like me you stood no chance. I don't remember being picked for anything at school........I was never picked as a monitor, never had a part in a school play, never got the chance to play a musical instrument. The list is endless everything at my primary school was doled out from the top to the bottom of the register.Probably why I turned into such a --pushy parent-- forceful adultwink.

Actually I do think this is something teachers should be aware of.

notagrannyyet Wed 30-Sep-09 11:19:26

What am I doing wrong on the crossing out!
It never works for me!

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