The phenomenon of nominative determinism – which describes the increased likelihood of choosing a profession as a result of being born to a particular surname – is currently being studied to see if location also has an impact on adult career choices.
A Tyrone Tribulations envoy met with Professor Johnny Pointless and his students at Oxford University’s sociology department, and hoped to prove that none other than our very own County Tyrone has the highest incidence of name-sake related jobs.
“It has long since been held that there is a strong link between one’s family name and the professional path people choose in life” professor Pointless told us, “even back to Shakespearean times. A look at some of the Co. Tyrone examples are quite remarkable, if true.”
Examples discussed included world famous golfer Darren Clarke, who spent his early years as a junior bookkeeper, training to be an accountant with a Dungannon firm. Unfortunately for Tiger Woods et al, Clarke decided in his early 20s that he wanted to explore another field.
Another Tyrone example was that Dennis Taylor had been a clothing alterations specialist at a formal dress-hire company in Dungannon. Taylor finally got fed up measuring lads for their school formals, and taking up trousers, so he decided to head for the dole queue. Soon he bridged the gap between Ireland and England, pocketing a fortune over the years.
Taylor did always however maintain contact with his protégé, local tv and radio star Malachi Cush, who himself was an all-Ireland snooker and pool underage champion. This example of nominative determinism explains why Taylor’s trousers were always impeccable during snooker tournaments.
Tyrone Tribulations also informed the Oxford team of the two brothers from Derrylaughan who have been running a very successful ‘Sahara animal trekking experience’ tour business along the romantic shores of Lough Neagh.
Following from their popularity, ‘Camel’s Riding School’ looks set to open for local kids parties this coming September. While Oxford pointed there were “parochial pronunciation issues at play” (Campbell versus Camel) this still did in fact qualify as a case where one’s surname had an influence on their paid profession.
Post and present Tyrone senior footballers and great friends Darren McCurry and Ryan (Ricey) McMenamin are opening a chain of Chinese takeaway restaurants in Dromore, with half and half a discounted special. This, also we are told, does qualify.
Other examples we raised with the team included former footballing greats such as Mickey Coleman, who has decided to put down his guitar and has stocked up on household fuels for the winter months. Chris and Stevie Lawn have obtained a franchise for a gardening firm and are presently seeking contracts round Moortown and Ardboe.
Former last gasp saviour and ‘keeper, John Devine is rumoured to be down in Maynooth in the early stages of becoming a deacon which was also accepted within the guidelines set primarily by the dictionary.
Stevie O’Neill being ‘a deadly man on a size five ball’ is not something the panel would accept at this stage, although we have arranged they be flown over to the next Clann na Gael training session to help reverse their decision on the 2005 Footballer of the year.
When we informed them of a postman in Coalisland called Pat, researchers confirmed that this was just an amusing coincidence and didn’t really qualify as nominative determinism. Also Mickey Harte, being universally loved all around the County, was “a totally separate matter… maybe if he was a surgeon or something” stated Pointless… little does he know we told him.
Following recent reports in the Irish News that proud gay boxing champion, and great fella, Junior Quinn from Clonoe wanted to be called ‘Queen’ again, Oxford’s boffins ruled this was just a pronunciation issue, “and again totally different to what we have been telling you all day.”
Also mentioned was Big Willie Anderson the Dungannon and Ireland rugby great who we said has tried to dismiss talk of some 1980s videotapes he made. Added to the disappointment that we could not produce the tapes, Pointless and his team indicated it would not have been counted anyway as Willie is a Christian name, not his family name, and ‘Big’ is an endearing term for the man because he is so well liked around his town.
While we await the final outcome to be announced, it can be confirmed that Tyrone is in the final two areas being reviewed. Also in the running are the Choctaw Indians of the USA, who actually do include an awful lot of real Indians.
All post-primary schools in Tyrone were united today in their support for the new GSCE English Literature exam which will see traditional texts such as Shakespeare, O’Casey, Hemmingway and WB Yeats replaced with the writings of Ronan McSherry, Alan Rodgers, Kevin Hughes and Catherine Wylie amongst others.
President of the Tyrone Schools United Committee, Master McGrath, explained the reasoning behind their stance:
“To be honest, we’re sick of reading that Romeo prancey nonsense. Who in their right mind talks like that now, apart from a lock of families in Donaghmore? Then you’ve Yeats waffling on about swans or Easter. Give me a critical analysis of the writings of Ronan’s Rant in the Herald any day: “taunting the Man U fans was like poking a rottweiler with a stick” is lyrically magical and far better than anything Wilfred Owen ever attempted.”
McGrath added that he’s very much looking forward to seeing his students get their teeth into Alan Rodgers’ match reports, Catherine Wylie’s account of the Nigella Lawson case or Sheena McStravick’s take on the botox addiction in Mid-Ulster. He added:
“We need to get people reading for enjoyment. We have a wealth of literary talent in the county, instead of analysing the Macbeth codswallop. Ciaran Woods wrote an article last year on the pain of playing with in-grown toenails and it had me in tears. Such emotion. Our children need to be brought up on this stuff, not the pure balls William Wordsworth was spouting.”
Students will be allowed to choose two of their own modules alongside a compulsory module on Owen Mulligan’s latest book.
Previously confidential state files show that the government considered anyone from Tyrone to be completely terrifying and kept a file on every person born and reared in the county, code-naming the folder ‘MB’.
When pressed this morning on what MB stood for, ex-Tory Secretary of State Basil Winklebottom confirmed it stood for ‘Mad Bastards’.
The previously 1986 secret files were released by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) under the 30-year ruling and contained some startling detail into the life and habits of everyone from Ardboe to Aughabrack. It was generally concluded that:
- The Ardboe diet consisted of fried eel for breakfast, fried pollan for lunch and eel stew for dinner. Ardboe children were sent to school with eel bites for a snack
- Donaghmore residents were well read and could quote Shakespeare even whilst down at the shop getting corned beef.
- Loughmacrory men used a petrol cologne before going to dances
- Urney was a no-go area for Strabanese locals
Winklebottom admitted meeting a Tyronnie on the streets of London had most MPs tossing and turning at night:
“Do you know scientists in 1986 were sure that a Tyrone woman could wrestle a bear and defeat it? They carried out 3 experiments and all 3 times, the woman from Dromore won. And the men were all into Boomtown Rats, Springsteen and the Undertones, and dressed accordingly. We’ve always had trouble with Tyrone going back 1000 years now and if they’d mobilised the whole of Tyrone in 1983 we’d have been hammered. Then Johnny Logan arrived on the scene and they softened a bit.”
Other secret revelations and plans from 1986 included:
- Fly Frank McGuigan over from America to give the restless locals something to go and watch at the weekends.
- Build a Nuclear Power Station at the Washingbay
- Reclaim Ballinderry
- Amalgamate Augher and Clogher to create Claugher.
- Make the Chopper bicycle the new county coat of arms
The catalogue of files for 1986-197 will be publicly available online on PRONI website from Tuesday 27 December 2013 and files will be available to view at PRONI from Friday 30 December.