On having an unusual name

There aren’t a lot of us Funders out there, though we did meet some members of the original, Danish branch of the family a few years ago.  (I learned I can’t pronounce my own name; the correct, Danish pronunciation sounds sort of like “foonthah” but I never get it exactly right.)  A member of the Australian branch of the family, Anna Funder, wrote a really good book which my daughter found by chance one day in a bookstore in Berlin.

My father once observed that he was pretty sure having an unusual name helped his career.  As a kid, all I knew was that a name like “funder” led to obvious jokes (such as “funderstorms”).  It wasn’t until I was in graduate school that I first noticed that organizations that give money to research are called “funders.”  Just last week I was at a conference that included many “funders” and I jumped a bit every time I heard the word.  You’d think I’d get used to it.

I don’t know of any other Funders in academic psychology, though, which probably is an advantage.  Sometimes I do feel sorry for the people with more common names — looking yourself up in Psych Info or the SSCI must be confusing.  Not that I spend much time doing that.

 

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