I have noticed something, and I want to do a poll to see if this is something LOTS of people do, or if it's something where you will be looking for a delicate way to ask me if I'm off my meds.
Here it is: I notice that the nursery song "London Bridge is Falling Down" is so hardwired into my brain that if I try to use the first name London with any surname that has even the same RHYTHM as "bridges" (I now know it's "bridge is," but I didn't know that for many many years---and besides, it has the same rhythm either way), my mind leaps immediately to "falling down."
So, for example, if I tried the name London with the surname Johnson, I'd say "London Johnson" and then I'd immediately think "...falling down, falling down, falling down." Same with London Williams, London Walker, and London Carter: my mind adds "falling down," because of the rhythm. (These are just random examples; feel free to substitute your own 2-syllable surnames for testing.)
This doesn't happen if it's a different rhythm. If it's London St. Clair, I don't think "falling down." If it's London Jones, I don't think "falling down." If it's London Anderson, I don't think "falling down." It's only if it's a two-syllable surname with the same rhythm as "bridges"/"bridge is."
I suspect most of this is because I don't know anyone named London: to me it still registers first as a place that has a bridge. If I knew a London, my guess is that this effect would fade considerably if not completely.
And now what I want to ask you is: Is it the same for you? Let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]
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