Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Wednesday 31 December 2008

It's that time of year

The annual newspaper filler story (beg pardon, survey) of the year's most popular names for children is with us again.

Strange how these things come and go. There may never come a time again when "What did Horace say, Winnie?" might be a plausible catchphrase, but some - to my ears - old-fashioned names can make a startling reappearance. I shan't forget the slight froideur when my mother, on learning the name of her much-longed-for grand-daughter, burst into the old song "They call her Hard-hearted Hannah, the vamp from Savannah, GA" (she isn't, of course); and I'm wondering when (if ever) I can tell my great-niece that, though she's as cute as the winner of the Miss Cutest-Ever of the School of Cute could ever be, every time I hear her name, I can't help thinking of this:

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