Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Both Barrels

i subscribe to the New Writing e-newsletter. today's issue was sent from someone called Julia Wragge-Morley. yes, you read that right, Wragge-Morley, and here i was, thinking it was 2005, not 1805. no matter, the Wragge-Morleys march on, their double-barrelled bellies full of cheer.

anyway, i sent a rejoinder



i had to write in recognition of your high comedy, indefatigably middle-class name. i really did think double-barrelled names had dwindled from the world of english letters these last two centuries, most of your ilk having been killed by tigers while out game hunting, but, alas! and alack! here we find one last specimen, paddling grimly against the currents of history, on the New Writing newsletter. i guess democracy will have to wait.

could i also suggest, if we are going to suffer the wragge-morleys of the world, that your next mailing include an e-elephant gun and some e-darkies to clean my e-colonial pile. that would be absolutely ripping.

yours faithfully

jason kennedy,



Blogger L said...

the name sounds like something out of a Wodehouse novel

10:00 PM  
Blogger Claypot said...

You're hysterical! That has made me laugh this morning. A friend at school had a particular expression she used for people she didn't like - "He should be shot with a ball of his own shite through an elephant gun." Suitable for the double-barrelers?

1:23 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Funny stuff, sir.

These days, however, hyphenated names are sometimes the refuge of women whose marriages have gone either South or North, and who wish to keep some of their identity without their children losing theirs.

11:59 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

it could be the case. i was just frustrated to boiling point that you can't move two steps inside the padded cell of english publishing without bumping into a Hermione, an Antonia, a Claudia, etc. all white, all wealthy, and so, the unashamed double-barrel got my goat, slaughtered it, and used the still beating heart as a Stick with which to beat my Ancient Gods.

10:52 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

now confirmed, the wragge-morleys go back at least as far as the 30s, so it's not some contemporary decision

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It goes back a lot longer than that, but only got the hyphen in it when it became the name of a business set up by Derek Wragge-Morley (Julia's father(a noted Myrmecologist)) after WW2. Also, you have commented on its hilarity, I would suggest that far comic is the maiden name of Julia Wragge-Morley's Brother's Wife, which is Pine-Coffin.
Although Wragge-Morley is unnusual and possibly eccentric name, there is no reason to presume that its bearers are anything other than human.

9:37 AM  

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