History Sunday: A Herbertologist Remembered

This week, we had a great loss in the world of science; Clancy Sorbet, an amateur researcher, road scholar, and eventually, professor. Sorbet was a socioetymologist, which is a rare science category that focuses on the behavior of people as it correlates to their name. Specifically, Sorbet made a huge leap in research regarding people named Herbert.

Sorbet was born in 1915, a year in which Herbert was a common boys name (alongside William, John, and Murphitzniklaus). He grew up alongside many boys named Herbert, and became curious as to their similarities, as well as their differences. Most of these observations were noted in his 1957 journal, titled “The Importance of Being Herbert.” Here is a passage:

“Donald and Donald seem to be very similar in some ways, ways that I speculate are correlated to a “name gene.” For example, they both have similar facial features: they both have noses, mouths, eyes, etc. I found this amazing, and somewhat surprising.”

(This passage may seem confusing, but Sorbet changed the names as an ethical concern. He never realized that the title did somewhat give it away, and generally the last name is more important to protect.)

We contacted the esteemed Dr.¬†Murphitzniklaus Smith regarding his teacher’s death. This is what he had to say:

“Professor Sorbet was a huge influence; he was one of the first scientists to study common names. If he hadn’t moved into that unexplored territory, why, no one would ever have researched a common name like my own. I would have had insight into my rare last name, but it’s better to have both.”

We would like to conclude by saying that Clancy Sorbet will live on eternally, and carry his legacy forward. However, the name Herbert went extinct in 2002, and now it is illegal to use it, so his work is absolutely worthless. That being said, without Clancy Sorbet, we wouldn’t have nearly as much precious useless information, which is now being sold at a hefty price tag, inflated by trivia game show demand.


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