What’s in a name?
Posted on 21 February 2009 | 9:02am
Am still undecided whether to drive or train it to Norwich. Will be a last minute decision. At least the sun is shining, and I have lunch with Delia to look forward to on arrival. I know name-dropping is frowned upon, but lunch with Delia before Norwich v Burnley is a Campbell tradition. I hope Norwich can keep up the recent losing tradition too.
I always like going to Norwich. I’ll probably see Charles Clarke, and Phil Webster of the Times who is living proof it is still possible to be a brilliant journalist and a good bloke.
As for Delia, well, she is a star. And Delia is such a great name … one of those names from which the person (ie Delia) is instantly recognisable by first name alone.
That’s the point of the blog … to ask who else the vast bulk of us know from first name alone. At the moment, if we say Barack, we all think … obviously. If I say Nelson, some will think Admiral, but if it’s clear I’m talking about a living person, we think Mandela. I guess Boris gets close, though part of me still thinks Yeltsin. What a character he was – Tony made me take out one of my Boris-drinking stories when I edited my diaries. I also think of Spassky the chess player, but Boris the mayor is probably ahead of them both now, in London at least. Britney of course, God bless her. There’s only one Britney, apart from those named after her. Kylie. No need to add surname. And Cheryl’s getting close, in the UK at least and now, according to Simon (you got that one because of the context) set for fame in the States.
Time to decide. Train or car? Thanks for the suggestions for one sentence for the Labour manifesto, which I intend to turn into a feature when I’m guest editing the New Statesman. Today, for no purpose other than your and my amusement (in my case when I get back tonight) suggestions for people known instantly by their first name …