The Omen II
"Loved today's Times piece about 'nomen et omen,' the idea that one's name is prophetic. (E.g., doctors with the last name 'Doctor.' Was that what that Thompson Twins song was all about?) I recall that, back around third grade, I was very eager to learn of anyone else sharing my first name, which isn't wildly rare but seemed so back then, in a sea of Jims and Johns and (it seemed) various Todds. I was especially gratified to come across authors named Ed, and no doubt kept a list of such discoveries.
"I remember with particular clarity a slim collection of sports facts—at that age, one reads all sorts of things, stories, comics, and especially trivia omnium-gatherums, of which the Guinness Book is the ultimate exponent—the cramped spine of which bore the mysterious 'Ed. by John Smith.' (Well—something like that.) It was the "Ed." that hypnotized me—was Ed also part of his name? Matters were cleared up slightly by the full 'Edited by . . . ' tag on the front cover, but the abbreviation continued to exert its power.
"Nearly thirty years on, I'm an editor. A couple times a week, I sign off on page proofs, above a line marked 'ed'—and I always think of that little paperback book, its spine so small that even the word 'Edited' had to be edited."
Thanks for sharing, Ed. Or "ed."