Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bernhardt's axiom-"A moderately famous person who shares a relatively unique surname with a more famous person is more likely than not to be related to that famous person"

Bernhardt's axiom states that "A moderately famous person who shares a relatively unique surname with a more famous person is more likely than not to be related to that famous person". It usually works, I have found.

 When you hear about somebody new in the news with the surname of famous person they are usually related to them, so much so that is standard journalistic practice to often state it when they are not related to a famous person. The only people this axiom  doesn't work with are  people with relatively common names.

Examples include Alan and Robin Thicke, Mika and Zbignew Brzezinski ,  David and Rush Limbaugh, Chris and Mike  Wallace, Steve R. McQueen and Steve McQueen, Julian  and Andrew  Lloyd Webber, Charlie and Martin Sheen,   The Udall family,  Jerry  and Ben Stiller,  Nick and George  Clooney, Lucian and Anna Freud and numerous others.

An example where it isn't true is Brandi Chastain and Jessica Chastain.  Another example if Mark Hamill and Pete Hamill. The Hamill's and the Chastain's are not releated.

(Originally published July 6, 2012.)

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