Thursday, 28 May 2009
On my own name
There’s something about the name ‘Adam Roberts’ that seems to miss the mark. You would not believe how many people—often people who know me well—call me ‘Robert’, or ‘Alan’. It’s as if putting together the reasonably common surname Roberts with the perfectly ordinary Christian name Adam results in a BLIT-style monstrosity that people silently correct in their heads. This, I suppose, is a question of preference. Maybe Robert is a better Christian name than Adam. We may think of all the great kings (from the Bruce to the Bald), the writers—Browning, Jordan—the guitarists—Johnson, Plant—who have been distinguished with this forename. Alan is harder to comprehend. It’s harder to think of the great men called ‘Alan’ (a-Dale, Coren, that’s about it).