Nominal determinism


Apparently nominal determinism – the belief that your name can determine what you later become in life – works with German names too. The man who has helped millions of chemistry students to memorise the periodic table with his song The Elements is called Tom Lehrer.

The one I was trying to think of at MJ’s the other night was Kevin De Cock, director of the department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organisation.

3 Responses to “Nominal determinism”

  1. Subway General Management Says:

    Mr. Sabin,

    With a wit Dr. Goebbels himself would have proud of, I confess to being more than a little perturbed by the comments in your recent blog entitled: “Die große Lüge”.

    I since contacted two of our most regular and, ergo, most-valued customers, Mr. D. O’Kelly and Miss E M Wright, to warn them of this ill-founded slanderous prose that decorates your blog.

    Mr. O’Kelly was particularly aggrieved and, had he not been holidaying on the Indian subcontinent at this moment in time, would have come round to ‘bob you on the nose’.

    Here at Subway, we provide an excellent product, for minimal cost. You seem to have failed to realise that our sandwiches are downright delicious and that the deal is for one whole foot of healthy goodness (

    You are correct in that 5 EUR would be expensive for a regular sandwich found in independent or chain bakeries in Berlin, but you seem to have completely overlooked the size element. Does not one sandwich with stingy fillings, which only amount to a quarter of the size of one of our footlongs, cost more than 1,25 EUR?

    I challenge you to find a better deal in Berlin.

    Yours expectantly,

    Mr. Sandwich, Subway General Manager, Berlin, Germany

    p.s. my good friend Mr. Cock and I enjoyed your post on Nominal determinism

  2. owlnuggets Says:

    The Elements Song!

    Paul – give you one guess as to which of my standing friends memorised this while studying Chemistry A level and can still recite it to this day!

    We spent a weekend walking / camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales singing it while getting sunburnt on the moors…ahhh those were the days.

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