Thursday, 15 April 2010

Terry or Teddy, Andy or Andrew

Today’s sports page in the SCMP (Wednesday) has a story about former Manchester United, Newcastle United and England striker Andy Cole, who nowadays prefers to be called Andrew. Will his name change confuse Hong Kong’s horde of soccer aficionados? How do the Chinese sports media label Mr Cole now?

A typo, or perhaps an over-eager automatic spell checker, also led to Andrew Cole’s former England and Manchester United playing partner Teddy Sheringham being called Terry. Or perhaps the Terry mistake is influenced by the British media’s current obsession with another Terry?

Cole was guest of honour at yesterday's draw for the [Soccer Sevens] tournament, which will feature 16 teams each in the main competition and the masters. He said he had little time to look around the city, which he last visited with United in a pre-season tour in 1999, when they beat South China 2-0. Cole scored the second goal after Terry Sheringham had opened the scoring.

This blog takes an interest in names and recognizes that proper names and their related nicknames (e.g. Anthony and Tony) can cause confusion among people who use English as a second or third language. If the switch from Andy to Andrew can cause confusion in Asia, what would happen if Terry Teddy changed his preference to Theodore?

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