Saturday, January 13, 2007

What a load of old tosh

Did this drop out of your paper today? Hopefully not - perhaps you bought the Guardian, Independant or even The Telegraph.....

'Marked for life: your first name is an extraordinary secret clue to your fate.....'

That unscientific, unqualified statement launches an unbelievable 50 pages of arrant nonsense. Apparently our names are more than just a label - they affect our lives. They position us, define our lifestyle, partners, goods and chattels. (Small example - those named Dennis and Denise are over represented among dentists, while George and Geoffrey are more likely to be published in geo-scientific journals etc. Are thieves most likely to be called Nick I wonder?*)

Perhaps I'm missing the point - but for heaven's sake tell me what the point is. What is this cod psychology all about? Does this stuff really sell newspapers? Apparently The Times has 'mined' its 5 million strong database to come up with what it describes as an atonishing picture revealing the complete extent of our forenames hidden properties.

Well, first up my name's not in there so I'm a tad miffed. I don't know if I should be living at the end of a muddy lane, have 3 adult children, a love of opera and a mighty distrust of BT or not. But I plough on - after all we all know someone with a name. I go through quite a wide circle of friends and associates. There is the odd 'hit' - the only Maureen I know is certainly 'friendly, trustworthy and efficient,' Barbara, appropriately in Lancashire, loves gardening and Heather certainly 'lives in a detached house.' (Oh, and on reflection our neighbour Di is one of the 50% of Dianes to have a conservatory.) But from there onwards it's downhill all the way. I recognise no one and no traits. This is a collection of odds and sods of use to no one save for dinner party chatter: 'Goodness, didn't you know that Timothy's spend the most money on their cars and wouldn't be seen dead in Morrisons.'

I do hope Times Newspapers have planted a lot of trees to make up for this waste of paper........... and if your name is Tom - watch out for someone called Margaret.

* nope - and I quote: 'Nicks are 70% more likely to shop at Waitrose - and more likely to be driving a VW Golf'.' (of course in that case they may well have 'nicked it')

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