Saturday, 20 March 2010


Just a quickie about something which mildly annoyed me earlier this week concerning a piece in the Online (Daily) Mail. No surprise there then.

Shock, horror! Policepersons were told not ask for an individual's Christian name as they might not be Christian and, therefore, offended. They should instead ask for their personal name. Political correctness gone mad! screams the Mail.

I'm sorry, but how is it wrong to ask for a personal or forename from someone who isn't a Christian and therefore does not have a Christian name? To ask a Jew, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, etc for a Christian name is to ask for something they do not possess and it's both stupid and ignorant to do so.

It's been many years since, while working as a librarian in Sunderland City library with its wide range of users from all sorts of religions and cultures, that  I have asked anyone for their Christian name and I've refrained from asking for this on the grounds of common sense and politeness. It's practical not politically correct -an overused phrase for any slight change in the status quo that someone objects to. It's politically correct and, therefore, it must be bad. In most cases anything smeared with that label is merely a form of politeness and since when was that a bad thing?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whatever is all this fuss about? (you and The Mail) - PC, "personal name" (there is no such thing), politeness, etc. are all wasteful distractions. Although the term "forename" is acceptable, whatever could be wrong with the continued widespread use of the clearer term "first name"? This term was actually devised as a sensible alternative to the generally outdated and inappropriate "Christian name" - are we now going to scrap it?