WHAT'S in a name? It's not really what's in a name that bothers me, it's what has been left out of it as it seems to be the fashion to shorten every given forename.

Is it to save time or are we just too lazy to pronounce any name that has more than one syllable in it?

The other day I found myself chatting with a group in which three of the women were called Margaret and not one had ever shortened it in any way – what a relief – so that set us talking on the subject.

No Maggies, Mags, Megs, Madges or Peggies among them and as for the latter, where did that come from and what on earth has that to do with Margaret?

I can understand that not all of us are happy with the name our parents chose for us. I don't like mine, so I feel that every child should be given more than one forename then surely they would be content to stick with one in its original form. I am not referring to nicknames, these only appear to be given to men on the whole and I can accept the abbreviation of most male names with Teds, Bills, Berts, Dougs etc, making some sense, it’s the female variety that seem to be becoming more and more outlandish.

Tray instead of Tracy, Nai for Naomi, (sounds like an objection from a horse to me), Dot for Dorothy, Luce instead of Lucy, Mo for Maureen and, worst of all, Fizz and I have been told this is short for Phyllis but I think the Coronation Street character has a lot to answer for here! We have so many parents who did their best to give children sensible names, except for those who named boys after whole football teams.

Now we have so many naming offspring after weather conditions, let’s just hope that some infant is not labelled Wind.

Chelle is a common abbreviation of Michelle but some are spelling it Shell. Who would want an informal signature reminiscent of a petrol pump?