The Unexpected U

"Art upsets, science reassures."

Georges Braque (1882 - 1963)

The letter U owes its parentage to the letter V and is a relatively modern arrival in the English alphabet. Like all vowels, the letter U is frequently used to express emotions, but unlike the excited sounds of the E and O -- the U is typically associated with unpleasantness; ugh, ugly, ulcer, uppity, usurp, urine, uh-oh, and upset.

It's invariably a surprise when we encounter a U person,for only about one person in ten thousand has a name that begins with this unique, unusual, uncommon and unexpected letter. Because their names are such an uncommon commodity, they always manage to attract attention wherever they go. U people take this all in stride.

Ulysses and Ursula are the only names of any statistical significance. Ulysses is the Roman name for Odysseus, the mythical hero of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey -- which recounts the arduous journey of Ulysses from the battlefields of Troy to his home in Ithaca. His name has since become synonymous with a long adventurous journey.

In most cases, people whose names begin with the letter U seem to enjoy defying societal conventions. They score higher on the scale of emotional intelligence and are more likely to be right-brained than left-brained. And while they’re also able to think on their feet and have the uncommon ability to solve complex problems, all this comes at a price. For U’s are big-picture people who are unable to pay close attention to the small details and are consequently more likely to be found in the arts than in the sciences. They will, however, almost always be remembered for their unusual approach to life and living.