Nominative determinism

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Nominative Determinism, the theory that a person's name influences their characteristics and actions, was invented by Fred Nominative-Determinism in 1853. He was inspired by the observation that a certain lady, whom he was in the habit of calling 'Mother', turned out to be, in fact, his biological female parent. Nominative-Determinism surmised that, having become accustomed to this moniker, she had subconsciously made the retroactive choice to give birth to him some 38 years previously.

Nominative-Determinism further postulated that his own name had led him inevitably to the discovery of this concept, and cited as proof the fact that he had been unable to resist naming the theory after himself.

The theory was roundly rejected by the intellectuals of the day, with the head of the Royal Society, Sir Sneering Snob, describing it as 'a contemptible offering, yet no more than we would expect from a fellow of such breeding.' Noted philologist Dr Utter Bastard threatened that if he ever met Fred Nominative-Determinism, he would 'set about him with a stout cudgel from noon until sundown, to cure him of his unspeakable impudence'. Dr Bastard accused Nominative-Determinism of 'absurd vanity' in naming the concept after himself, an accusation Nominative-Determinism refuted in a letter to the Times in 1860, pointing out that his middle name, Humility, made him immune to such vices.

Other contemporary writers such as Jonathan Mild and Percy Noncommittal were more favourably disposed to the theory, but their views had little impact upon public discourse.

The theory has received wider recognition in recent years, with one Professor Alice Goodatstuff declaring it 'an undeniable truth' in 2001, while current head of the Oxford Student Philosphers' Association, Tom Dashingly-Handsome, called it 'an uncannily accurate insight, which deserves wider recognition' in 2014.