Mary Harrell-Sesniak wrote a fascinating article recently in the Rootsweb Review on names. She talked not only about some naming conventions that are motivated by particular societal norms, but also gives methods of discovering naming patterns in your individual ancestral families.
She explains with examples how to construct birth order charts and then examine them so find trends and patterns.
It is great reading, even if you have seen other articles on the same subject. This, I think, will give you something new.
Check it out at: http://us.mg1.mail.yahoo.com/dc/launch?.gx=1&.rand=cq8642kgefbg4, and click on "Using Roots Web."