Apart from “Three”, the name of the third child born to a dysfunctional family appearing in the Netflix series Ozark, I don’t recall any people having numbers as names, other than as an appendage for kings, queens and American parents who inexplicably give their children exactly the same names as themselves. I had a childhood friend officially known as Edgar Ansell Vincent Malay III (you can guess his dad’s name) who was more conveniently known as Buddy.
Names that are words are simply more memorable, because they have colour, often have meaning and sound more human. The same seems to apply to cars, too, as one recent research study suggested that a car’s name can be almost twice as easily recalled if it’s a word rather than a number. The research was carried out using the most popular models within three broad vehicle segments, namely SUVs, small cars and family cars, the respondents asked to identify a car as it passed them by.
The most recognized SUV was the Range Rover Evoque with a 47% recognition rate, while the Volvo XC90 and BMW X2 scored 32% apiece. Among smaller cars the Ford Fiesta was recognized by 50% of the respondents, while the Citroen C1 and BMW 1 Series managed 25% and 32% respectively. The Mazda 3 (21%) and Volkswagen Golf (47%) bookended the family car group.
Of course, the research is a little crude in that it will also be testing the recognisability of a car’s design as well as its name, not to mention how often you might encounter an example on the street. You’re a lot more likely to see a best-selling Ford Fiesta than you are a Citroen C1.