Monday, 13 August 2007

Not-so-aptronym

We've all heard of people who have jobs that reflect their names in some manner, such as Cardinal Sin, the Archbishop of Manila, or Dr Alan Heavens at the Institute of Astronomy in Edinburgh*.

Browsing around the web, there appears to be many names for this coincidence of naming, such as aptonym, aptronym or noministic determinism (try remembering that one!) [Edit: try searching for nominative determinism, coined by New Scientist magazine]. I'm either being dense or lazy, but no matter how hard I searched, I couldn't find a word that meant the opposite of this: namely, where a name is a contradiction of what it is, or what it is capable of.

You're probably wondering where I am going with this? I warn you, its an anti-climax!

Tring has a little area called Dolphin Square where there are a couple of benches and a couple of food shops, complete with CCTV: which is a little strange as there isn't really anything there to watch. About the most excitement seen in the area is the shock of someone discovering their takeaway coffee has no sugar; though this has now been superceded by the development of one of the buildings into a Marks & Spencer food outlet.

To be honest, I really can't wait for it to open as the food options around here are somewhat limited: there's PAMs where I got food poisoning**, Sandwich Plus that has some nice fillings but which is a bit inconsistent, a chippy, a chinese and, about 10 minutes walk up the road, a little Tesco that gets raided by the local school brats on a daily basis.

Anyway, whilst sitting on one of the benches in the square, chatting to my Dad on the phone about how bored I am, two little electric platforms shot past at an amazing speed of around, ooh, six inches per second!!


It would have been quicker for these guys to get out and push than to ride them across the square - and probably more dignified, too!

Anybody spot the name of these things?

Hence this rambling post!

If nobody knows of a word that would cover this, perhaps its time to make one up, such as opptronym (apparently contranym is already taken and I'm not sure it quite covers this).

Either that, or it could be called a Naptronym, as you've probably fallen asleep with this discussion about it!!!
* * * * *
Mooooving on!

After all the red bulls I used to drink and the twice-a-day cappucinos I seem to have gotten into the habit of drinking, its kind of sobering to read stories of people overdosing on espressos.

So I wasn't just on a high then!!


* Check out aptronym watch for some great ones!
** I found out today that I'm not the only person this has happened to, and that the place has been renamed Grumps as the old guy in there is a miserable old git.
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