Meet enough people and you’ll realise that a high proportion will tell you that they are “bad” with names. Particularly those who tend to meet a lot of people.
There is plenty of advice for name amnesiacs, some have even written books on the subject like “memory coach” Benjamin Levy’s Remember Every Name Every Time, which suggests the intense-sounding FACE method: “focus, ask, comment and employ,”
Focusing when they tell you (rather than thinking about the next thing to say) and asking about their name seem sensible.
Others suggest you associate names with a rhyme or an association with their job. Picture Briony Bell in a church tower, or “Rula by the water cooler”.
One of the most frequently repeated pieces of advice, is, appropriately, repetition. Some suggest you do so in your head when a person tells you their name (“Raymondo, Raymondo, Raymondo, Raymondo. RAY-MON-DO!”). Others, out loud: “Cliff, that’s so funny, Cliff! I’m really glad that I met you Cliff.”
Of course, say it like that and it can leave you sounding either unhinged or a bit too keen. Neither is ideal in the work place or during small talk over canapés, unless Cliff is keen too, that is...
Family: youngest of 12 children, son of trumpeter Clarence “Legs” Osborne and wife Wanita
Education: rhythm and blues and the streets of Rhode Island
Style: cool as ice in a wide-lapelled suit
Best known for: being the smooth-as-treacle singer of 1982 smash “On the Wings of Love”
Jeffrey says: “On the wings of love/ up and above the clouds/ the only way to fly/ is on the wings of love”
Family: son of Sir Peter Osborne, 17th Baronet of Ballentaylor, father of four, and Felicity Alexandra Loxton-Peacock
Education: St Pauls School and Magdalen College, Oxford
Style: sweaty in Bullingdon Club tails
Best known for: Really being called Gideon; being about as smooth as a crocodile’s back Chancellor Osborne says: “We will safeguard Britain’s credit rating with a credible plan to eliminate the bulk of the structural deficit”
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