The joy of stats
Sir, – With the succession of Joe Biden as 46th president of the Unites States, it appears that the trend shows that the length of the presidents’ surnames (ie the number of letters) is decreasing. Taking into account the length of the surname coupled with the time spent in office, the average lengths over the past 20, 40 and 60 years are 4.8, 5.3 and 5.5 letters respectively. The average length over the previous 60-year period (1901-60) was 7.6, when there were names like Coolidge, Roosevelt and Eisenhower.
Will the next president’s surname trump the trend? – Yours, etc,