Apologies, forgive the loose connection to football analysis, but as it’s such a nice headline, I beg your indulgence…
Cutting to the chase (or more appropriately ‘to the Smith’); what do Madonna, Beyoncé, and Delia all have in common?
– Are all three a whizz in the kitchen?
Well, no – even if one of them can recognise the dangerous end of an egg whisk from fifty paces.
– Are they all huge fans of Channel 4 TV gameshow, Countdown?
Again, no – even though Beyoncé made the semi-finals in 2014 and won a teapot.
– Are they all absolute vixens when it comes to twerking?
Yes, obviously – but that’s not the connection.
So, what is the connection?
Mononymity that’s what.
‘What?’ you may say, screwing your features into a grimace, like I did.
(It took me some considerable time surfing the Internet – OK, typing – to find this word out so bear with me.)
‘So, what is this notaminimy,’ you may ask, face slightly more relaxed and open to new information.
‘Pshaw and bless,’ I might reply, ‘it’s mononymity, you charming little poppet.’
(You frown, consider punching me in the face, but resist. Just.)
‘Mononymity,’ I continue, ‘is one of those especially rare privileges granted to a special few in the Western world who have achieved considerable fame and/or distinction in the public sphere.’
‘Yes,’ you say, ‘but what does it mean, you patronising twonk?’
‘Ah, yes, apologies, it’s the practice of informally adopting and being recognised by a single name when you are so famous your surname becomes superfluous. Like Madonna, Beyoncé, and Delia. For example, if you said any of the above mononyms to a person on any UK street they would instantly know who you meant. In Delia’s case, they would probably quote you the obscure address ‘Letsby Avenue’ for no good reason too.’
‘I see,’ you reply, ‘Thanks – but you’re still a twonk.’
‘Thank you,’ I reply, ‘in addition, all three women are strong and successful; feisty and assertive; committed and driven; and financially independent.
They also share a romantically rebellious creative streak; possess a fine set of pipes when emotionally clutching a microphone; and apparently enjoy flouncing about in flamboyantly provocative clothing.’
After a brief pause, you say ‘I’d calm down if I were you, mate.’
‘But it’s true!’ I insist, ‘the above is a perfectly fair assessment. Great achievers and great role models all. Just ask Michael.’
‘Michael who?’ you say, ‘Parkinson? Caine? Buble?’
‘Better,’ I reply, ‘Wynn-Jones.’
- With apologies to the delightful Delia Smith and magnificent Michael Wynn-Jones, who I hope forgive me this good-natured bit of fun. You have both have been so generous and supportive owners of Norwich City – a magnificent football club – for so many years now. Thanks for all the good times so far and here’s to all the even better times yet to come.
- In the meantime, during these uncertain pandemic times, please everyone stay healthy, happy, and safe.