Hamill’s Beat - Save us from pretentiousness

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Can there be few things in life more absurd than giving children and pets pretentious names.

The cruel irony is that those who do it seem unaware that most people in the social classes they’re aspiring to, regard pretentiousness as unseemly and infra dig.

Pretentious names seldom have their intended effect. They’re counter-productive.

Traditional names like John or Sean, Mary or Máire are thought too ordinary. Sometimes anything not normally used as a name will do nicely.

Leona O’Neill writing in the ‘Irish News’ last week says there’s a woman called Lasagne. A mother enrolling her wee boy for school was asked for the child’s name. “Gwee,” said the mother. “How

do you spell that?” asked the teacher. “G-u-y” replied the child’s mother!

A friend gave her dog the grand, French sounding name, “Du Bois”. Needless to say, it didn’t have the desired effect either.

One day another friend asked her to visit and said, “Sure you can bring Dubious with you!”

It’s the same nonsense with pretentious restaurant menus.

Fine dining is one thing but ordinary dining trying to sound ‘fine’ is unbearable. You know the sort of thing.

It’s always a bad sign when descriptions are overly elaborate. Steer well clear for instance when food is said to be “nestling on a bed” of something or other. The food is probably like the menu itself – needlessly mucked around with and tarted up.

Save us from the snobbery of pretentiousness.