Alas, Smith and Jones Predictably Commonplace in UK Surname Database

By Gary Cutlack on at

Geodata experts have "mashed up" real surnames and Twitter usernames, creating a map of the UK that compares how the council refers to us, with what we tend to call ourselves when pretending to be mysterious and exciting on the internet.

The stats, put together by data-mining experts from University College London, shows there's more variety in terms of names used on Twitter, although it's not exactly a creativity explosion out there in anything-goes internet land. Names like Simmons, Tailor and Jeffries are more commonplace online than the Smiths and Jones in ordinary use, for reasons we're not entirely sure we understand.

Is it because old people are more likely to have common names and aren't on Twitter, skewing the results? [Uncertainty of Identity via Guardian]