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“Old people used to have silly names!” says ancestry research site

What’s that Mary, traditional names are dying out?

Cecil, Rowland and Willie have fallen so far out of favour that no one wants to use them for their child.

They are the names nobody wants.

Although Cecil, Rowland and Willie were once among the most popular names in Britain, they have fallen so far out of favour they have now became “extinct”.

Latest birth records show that not a single person was given any of the three names while girls’ names Bertha, Blodwen or Fanny are also extinct.

Source: Telegraph, 4 April 2014

Or, to put it in slightly more immature terms, here’s the Daily Star’s take on the tale:

Fanny and Willy (stop sniggering!) on the ‘extinct’ baby names list

FANNY and Willy are now deemed “extinct” as no one chose these baby names in recent years.

Old-fashioned boys’ names such as Cecil and Rowland, and girls’ names such as Blodwen and Gertrude have also fallen out of favour.

Research carried out by Ancestry.co.uk showed that no babies born in 2012 were registered with these names.

Source: Daily Star, 4 April 2014

OK, now, settle down at the back, there’s nothing remotely amusing about the impending extinction of your garden-variety Willy or Fanny – just ask the website who paid to have this research created:

Miriam Silverman, from Ancestry.co.uk, said: “Of course, no first name can truly become extinct, as it can easily be resurrected, but it’s fascinating to look at the list from 1905 and see which have thrived and which have faded into obscurity.

“We also know that people appreciate a rare or unusual name in their family tree and as more people join the family history revolution we believe that such endangered names will be protected by concerned descendants.”

Oh, good – it turns out the names aren’t actually going extinct, it’s just PR for an ancestry-researching site looking to get more people to join their ‘family history revolution’. Phew. Worried Willies: stand down.

“Men today are too soft!” says TV show trying to dictate what being a man means

Ready meals, moisturiser and no fishing: Survival ace Bear Grylls tests ‘soft’ Brit fellas

BRIT men are losing their manhood skills and becoming too ‘soft’, a survey reveals.

Even though the days of hunting and gathering are over, it seems that most men lack even the basic of survival skills.

A whopping 62% of fellas said they would not be able to start a fire without the help of a lighter.

Source: Daily Star, 5 May 2014

A news story straight out of the ‘how to be casually and unhelpfully sexist’ PR textbook here, with the British male’s ‘manliness’ in question. And, by question, I mean of course held up against a ludicrous and worthless criteria in order to find men lacking.

What ought men today be able to do, to allow them to keep their ‘man card’ and prevent them having to ‘grow a pair’ and ‘man up’? Besides being able to light a fire without the aid of a lighter, there’s a raft of other necessities:

And commiserations if you’re stuck on a desert island with a man who can’t (or won’t) help chop, hunt and fish.

The assumption here, of course, being that no woman has any of those skills – that goes without saying. No, women correctly do not know how to hunt or fish, but men incorrectly lack these required man skills.

Whereas tools such as fishing rods and knives would be the first things to be chucked into a knapsack, 29% of men would rather rely on ready meals.

The word ‘rather’ being likely crucial in that sentence – personally, given the choice (as it appears men were, in an online poll) between hunting, gutting, skinning and cooking an animal, or eating a ready meal… I’m pretty sure I’d side with the ready meal.

Lazy lifestyles and office jobs requiring sitting at a desk for up to nine hours a day are being blamed on men’s dwindling ability to deal with practical tasks.

That’s right – men are just too lazy and office-bound to be out killing small animals and casually lighting fires. If they weren’t so bloody lazy, today’s men would all be meeting the fire-and-death quota specified on the back of their ‘man cards’.

Of course, this spurious and sexist poll is nothing more than an advert for an aggressively manly TV show:

Survival guru Bear Grylls, host of new TV show The Island, said: “What happens when you strip man of all the luxury and conveniences of modern living and then force them to fight for their very existence?”

I’d imagine what happens is a TV show watched by essentially nobody, Bear.