Psychologists at Wayne State University looked at the life spans of 10,000 doctors, lawyers and athletes born between 1870 and 1930 and found those people whose names began with the letter “D” lived, on average, the shortest lives. At the other extreme, those who had the first initial “A” lived the longest, out-stretching “D”-people’s longevity by nearly 10 years.
The researchers speculate that having a name beginning with “D” contributes to poor self-esteem — which other studies suggest lowers a person’s defense against disease. The self-confidence knock is due to a link with the standard American school grading systems, where Ds constitute poor achievement. “Throughout life, we are constantly reminded that ‘A’ symbolizes the best, whereas ‘D’ is regarded as almost a failure,” the professors write in the journal “Death Studies.”
If this isn’t an argument for the widespread adoption of a pass/fail system or stickers with smiley or frowning faces, we don’t know what is.