For years I had to grit my teeth when I typed in the name PRINCE OF THIEFS. The spellchecker hated it, too. All those years at school learning how to spell were for nought as this fine dog (and sire) strutted his way around the nation. So how could they let this mis-spelled name get through?
Part of the answer is that no more than 16 letters and spaces are allowed by the registration people – Greyhounds Australasia – so using the word “thieves” would have broken the boundary. Over the fence would be out, same as in the backyard.
The owners could easily have chosen another name but they obviously loved the concept and so they cheated the dictionary. As have many others.
Just checking the “A” list reveals other dogs with similar problems.
AFACIONADO should be Aficionado (a Spanish word used in English).
AFFRIDI BALE brings the mighty Wheeler farm into focus. The Pakistani cricketer’s name is Afridi.
AWFUL BAD is just awful grammar.
ALL WRAPED UP badly needs another “P”.
ANESTHETIC should be Anaesthetic.
ALLEN CEASAR was Caesar when Rome was built.
You could go on through the alphabet but the evidence is overwhelming everywhere. For example, there are four different spellings of “dilemma”” to cope with. And it is hardly a complex word.
I don’t see any problem with fun names, footballers’ names (too many from Carlton, though) or mixtures of the kids’ names – all within reason, of course. Even foreign names can be fair enough providing they are reasonably understandable. Aside from the above couple there are IZMIR (Turkey), ARIGATO (Japan) and AVANTI ELITE and ANDIAMO (Italy) are among them.
I am not comfortable with some medical names, though. For example, APHASIA is a nasty mental condition caused by brain damage. Better left out. (No longer racing anyway).
Very handy are short names like ADS or TA – it makes typing easy.
But what really prompted this article is a newcomer, MORE BETTER. That is an absolute shocker. I wonder how the connections would feel standing up on the dais to collect a cup and a big cheque with a name like that. What will their kids think when they learn English at school? This one is not fun, it’s not catchy; it’s just a bad advertisement for the industry.
Indeed, Greyhounds Australasia and the relevant state could and should have plucked that one out very early. They might go back to the National Racing Rules, which tell us that it may reject “any name deemed inappropriate, for whatever reason, in the interest of greyhound racing”. Previous guidelines have called for “correct English”, so lousy English and bad spelling must be against that interest?
GA is aware of these views but protests that it is very busy processing the 13,000 or so names each year. Well, perhaps, but that is just one every 10 minutes and the vast majority would not be contentious. However, TIFI is and they let that through. Besides, they are getting paid to do the job.
Its report card should be marked “Must try harder”.
By the way, for owners struggling to find a name, there are very few starting with the word “AS” in the current list. English students might like AS YOU LIKE IT but unfortunately that has too many words. Glad to help.
We should record that Racing Queensland is now back on song and posting sectional times again for Albion Park and Ipswich meetings. Still no explanation of why they incurred an FTC for a week. In future, punters desperate for information can always go to the Brisbane club’s website. It’s one of very few in Australia that posts its own results (Tweed Heads is another).
While on Queensland, anyone wanting to comment about the state of the industry there can send comments to consultants investigating the “sustainability” of racing in Queensland. Details on the RQ website www.racingqueensland.com.au/