Bum names: According to a study at the University of California, people whose initials read BUM, PIG, DUD or other uncomplimentary acronyms do not live as long as people whose initials spell WIN, VIP or ACE Researchers analysed 27 years of Californian death certificates and selected groups of good, bad and neutral (or meaningless) initials. The results showed that people called WIN lived 4.48 years longer than average, while a DUD or ASS could expect to die 2.8 years early. Both suicides and accidental deaths were also significantly higher among the "bad initials" group.

Nagging concerns: According to a study in Los Angeles, 46 per cent of toys and 34 per cent of food bought for children comes as the result of the child's nagging. However, a persistent whine of "I want it" did not prove a successful strategy. An example of a more successful nag was "Mom, Barbie needs a dream house so she can build a family."