by Michael Franklin
MF, are not an embarrassment to me, but some
people must be a bit bothered with theirs.
They remain in constant use for us at all ages,
at school written on the front of exercise books,
shortened signatures on notes to colleagues at
work, and much else.
How were some
people thought of? Was Mark Twain considered
vacant? Margaret Thatcher certainly was not. Were
Galileo Galilei and Greta Garbo a bit horsey and
Oscar Hammerstein perpetually surprised? Does
clever Stephen Hawking tell everyone to be quiet?
Are Lawrence Peter and Charles Dickens remembered
as spinners, and Peter Ustinov as a bit smelly?
Was Adolph Hitler vulnerable to revelations? Bill
Clinton was certainly behind his times.
For some it
was appropriate. Henry Morton Stanley was famous
for floating about and going bang
occasionally, Oscar Wilde offered some pain as
well as amusement, George Orwell went, and
Joe Pasternak was law abiding, as was Quentin
Crisp. Margot Asquith was well educated, Edward
Gibbon offered many examples, and Pete Seeger
often had some more to say. Sir Isaac Newton
would not have been thought wicked.
Let us be
pleased if our initials do not create anxiety.
Think how terrible it would be to have to
march through your life with a names like
Beatrice Ursula Morrison, Shiela Hillary Irving-Tallis,
Francis Anthony Robert Thompson, or Mary Anne
Davis. However, there is probably a Victoria
Irene Pierce around somewhere who is delighted
If we think of
Winston Churchill as that potty in
Downing Street it is not inappropriate. He was,
after all the wonderful provider of relief to all
Brits when the Germans were constipating Europe.
Contrasts to follow were Tony Blair - thought by
many now to have been the worst disease ever to
have passed through there, and Gordon Brown, who
has yet to prove that he is a Great Briton!