Saturday, 13 October 2012

What's Your Name Again?

I have always found it mildly amusing when peoples names resemble their careers. At school my music teacher was Mrs Horn and i know a woodwork teacher called Mr Carpenter but i didn't know that the phenomenon where people who seem inexorably drawn to their profession by virtue of their name is called 'nominative determinism'.
No less an authority than Carl Jung pondered the connection asking 'Are these the whimsicalities of chance, or the suggestive effects of the name or are they meaningful coincidences?'
No idea Carl but what it does give us is some brilliantly funny examples such as the head of Astronomy at Edniburgh University being called Alan Heavens and the author of a book about the polar region named Daniel Snowman.
Mark Avery was the director of conservation at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the big cheese of the UK branch of dairy company Danone is Mr Fromage and i'm sure that i once read that Buzz Aldrin' mothers maiden name was Moon. Ornithologist Carla Dove is in charge of the Division of Birds at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, Svetlana Filippova is a springboard diver in the same Russian team as Marina Stepanova who is, of course, a hurdler.
One of my favourites is the New York Lawyer Sue Yoo which is all very funny but of course the real fun comes when we put aside our adult behaviour and maturity and become schoolkids again and look for the names that are a bit rude.
Names like the urologist who specialises in vasectomies Dr Richard (Dick) Chopp who shares his urology clinic with Dr. Hardeman and Dr. Wang.
I am just glad that Shit Fun Chew who is an Associate Professor of Natural Sciences at Singapore University didn't become a chef.

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