Do Scientists Have a Name For It?
Nominative Determinism is a phrase, coined some years ago by the respected New Scientist magazine, to describe the effect of certain people gravitating towards professions or sports to which their names are particularly appropriate. A few random examples are: Tiger Woods (golfer); Usain Bolt (100/200 metre runner); James Horner (Academy Award winning film score composer) and Lord Brain (leading neurologist).
It’s a reverse situation however for NYJO saxophonist Michael Lack who – in his spare time – looks after sheep. You see, Michael models himself on one of his distinguished predecessors in the band – one with the perfect aptonym for Michael’s part-time job – Richard Shepherd…
So, is that Determined Nominativism? Or is Michael carrying ‘ewe’-phony too far?