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I was watching an old episode of QI eearlier .....

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1067311.  Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:36 pm Reply with quote

..... on the topic of remembering names. The players were offering various methods but my favourite was never mentioned. All you do is walk right up to the person whose name you have forgotten and say ......
"I'm sorry but I've forgotten your name". That person will answer 99% of the time with either "It's John", or "Mary" or "Mr Smith." As appropriate. You then answer back with, "Oh, I knew the "John, "Mary" or "Mr Smith bit. It's your other name that I couldn't remember".

1067626.  Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:22 pm Reply with quote

I'm APPALLING with names.

25ish yrs ago, I saw a woman I knew I knew, because I KNEW she had horses. (I usually remember people by their animals, OR if particularly tall). (Envy...)

I was going to pretend I hadn't seen her, but thought she would know how hopeless I am with names, anyway, BUT I asked her how her horses were, HOPING she'd mention THEIR names, so I'd work out her name. We spent 10 mins complaining about cost of feed, then I sighed & said, "Sorry. Forgotten your name."

She gave me a VERY long look & told me. I realised I didn't know her at all. She was the exwife of a previous Political Opposition Leader of Oz AND she DID have a horse. A part share, I think. It had won the Melbourne Cup.

1067628.  Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:40 pm Reply with quote

I'm not too bad on the whole, but wouldn't do so well in a situation like a new job, meeting 20+ people in one go.
I do it slowly, like trying to remember my library colleagues' names first, then gradually learn the other staff.

1067655.  Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:57 am Reply with quote

5teve wrote
That person will answer 99% of the time with either "It's John", or "Mary" or "Mr Smith."

But, but, but..... if their name is not John, Mary or Smith, are you knackered?

1067747.  Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:11 pm Reply with quote

I used to be pretty good with names - in the short term. When I taught adult ed classes, I usually had all the names after maybe two or three lessons depending on how many classes I was teaching. However, after the year was over, I forgot the names almost immediately in favour of the next year's batch.

1082747.  Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:52 pm Reply with quote

Was this on Dave by any chance? (Sorry)

Anyway I find I can remember names of famous people I have never met if I see an image of theme on TV, Video Clips or Photos but cannot remember names of people I see every day or have recently met.

To clarify I will know for example Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, John Leeson (voice of K9), Patrick McGoohan, Patrick Stewart, Jon Andersson, Rick Wakeman, Alan Davies (oddly), Stephen Fry on sight regardless of the age of the image or video, TV or film extract. However if I were to meet someone new and be told repeatedly that their first name is Steve or Janet or anything at all I will probably immediately forget their name I will then be embarrassed to have to ask them their name the next time I meet them. Then if I happened to be passing by and saw whatsisname I would be likely to avoid contact with them to prevent the embarrassment of asking the same question again.

My biggest worry is that I recognise pictures of John Leeson despite the fact my real knowledge of his work is as the voice of K9 in Doctor Who.

Perhaps the reason I can't remember erm let's say 'real' people's names is because my brain is stuffed with trivia. BTW are famous people somehow more 'real' or 'hyper real' (postmodernist term meaning this guy is getting too clever for his own good and will be shunned by civilised society) than the people we have actually met to certain people and does this block the memory of the name of a person we met 5 minutes ago.

Can my tragic malaise be unlearned or am I doomed to identify 1960s and 1970s actors from black and white snaps of their least famous performances and forget that my neighbour Ray is female when my landlord mentions her to me.

Now I know 'her' name I'm almost winning.

But what was the name of that person I met 3 days ago for the first time - very much one down approximately 64.1 million in the UK (as of 2013 according to the Office Of National Statistics) to go.

I set such high targets for myself.

"Got a Dandelion Mind, One puff and it's gone!' - Bill Bailey - Dandelion Mind

1082751.  Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:49 am Reply with quote

I think the reason we remember names and faces of celebrities and such is that we remember them from funny/interesting/action-packed scenes in movies, and from a survival view it is wise of our brains to at least remember what sort of people fight well or will fight us, have higher knowledge of survival (interesting things), or are good for socialising with (funny things). Or maybe it doesn't have anything to do with survival, it just tickles our fancy, we think back at it several times and the memory sticks better.

1082807.  Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:24 am Reply with quote

5teve wrote:
That person will answer 99% of the time with either "It's John", or "Mary" or "Mr Smith."

I don't think I noticed this when it was originally posted back in April. Is it ever correct to say "My name is Mr Smith"?

Your name might be Smith, it might be Steve Smith, or if one is pompous enough it might even be Steven Peter Devereux Smith*. But while Mr Smith may be what one is called, it is in no way one's name.

* Australian cricketer. The first Smith who came to mind, because he's a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend and currently appears on my news feed.

1083788.  Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:05 pm Reply with quote

I like the idea of saying, 'Hi, my name is David, but my friends call me Sir'.

1083844.  Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:29 am Reply with quote

My late father-in-law was a teacher, known in his school as a strict disciplinarian.

He used to claim that his first line on meeting a new class was "My name is [surname], which is spelled B-A-S-T-A-R-D. Now sit down, shut up, and listen."

No, that wasn't actually his surname, and no, he probably didn't actually do as he claimed. But it has occasionally been tempting ...!

1083859.  Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:56 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:

I don't think I noticed this when it was originally posted back in April. Is it ever correct to say "My name is Mr Smith"?

I am tempted to say it to create a glacial silence when over familiarity is used by some one who does not know me but has my full name, for instance a desk clerk or telephone help line person addressing me straight away by my first name. Can be counter productive, but arrogance will out.

The Duke of Richmond and Gordon was checking in to an American hotel and the receptionist booked him in, then looked around and asked: "And where is Gordon?"
True story.

1083861.  Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:18 am Reply with quote

I probably would have asked the same. Silly Brits with their titles. ;-)

1083862.  Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:18 am Reply with quote

What she said...



1083865.  Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:37 am Reply with quote

"...It's knowing they're foreign that makes then so MAD!"

A Song of Patriotic Prejudice Flanders & Swann

1083902.  Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:04 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
I probably would have asked the same. Silly Brits with their titles. ;-)

Says a person who comes from the country which gave us Vennegoor of Hesselink !?

Couldn't the silly Cloggie decide what his name was?


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