Friday, 12 February 2010

Names are 'Sound and Vapour'

I’m so crap with names. Always was, but it becomes worse as I get on in years.

I don’t understand why. I genuinely like people. I like to know what they are doing and what makes them tick, but I can’t remember a single name. Now I just sent a comment to a column of a writer who I adore and … of course: I misspelled his name. How embarrassing!

I have two very dear friends: Imola came first and everything was fine. After 3 weeks and several approaches of dissecting the name by writing it down I managed to address her with her proper name. Then Iwona came along. Again this 21 day period was needed to train a new name to the brain, and then it all went horribly wrong. I think I learned the names all right but somehow attached the wrong faces to them. It furthermore seems that I threw away the key to this bit of my locker. I just can’t fix it – I’m now thinking about nicknames.

My grandma always said: ‘Names are only Sound and Vapour’. Don’t even know what that means. I think it’s from a play and as my family is lower middle class we always seem to feel on the up-rise when we can cite from something that has to do with cultured life. This life only people with money have, who don’t have to really work for a living and hence have too much time on there hands and thus hang in theatres all the time with a glass of sparkly in their hands. The English equivalent might be something like being able to quote some lines from Shakespeare.

But probably all there is to it is a disease that runs in the family. Probably she couldn’t remember names either, was happy to have come across this phrase and interpreted it her very own way.

Not that I’m good with spelling altogether. I loathed writing ‘Thank you’ cards after birthdays and Christmas. How did the world get so far without the spell checker? And people make such a fuss about spelling. Kids are pushed through spelling contests with one shining star at one end of it and a whole school of losers at the other.

A friend of mine is keen on pursuing a new career, but she is not really good in computers and didn’t consider a course yet, as she doesn’t feel that she is not good in spelling. Duh?! That is what computers are for – to iron out the flaws. Can’t write properly – no problem, I have a computer. Can’t draw – no problem, there is software for it.

Only hiccup: One has to learn how these damn things work in general and live with the black wizardry that might happen – sometimes due to the computers own mischievous mind, sometimes creator produced. Nury – now I know that he is spelled with a ‘y’ – has a lovely column on that.

That brings me back to the original thought. What can I do to remember names better? Even my spell checker is helpless and brings them up in a fiery red. I could teach it the names but that doesn’t resolve the ‘attach a face to the name’ problem. So probably names are only sound and vapour. Ever shouted ‘John’ or ‘Paul’ into a crowd? Not really helpful, is it? Shout: Blond hunk! You might get a big crowd responding as well, but at least you enhanced your chances of going out with a blond hunk that night.


No comments:

Post a Comment