A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Books: Milly Molly Mandy

Milly Molly Mandy is the heroine of a series of books written by Joyce Lankester Brisley of the same name. A dark-haired little girl spotting upturn curls and a neat bob, Milly Molly Mandy lives with her extended family in an English village. The stories, compiled into 8, books follow her village-related exploits which comprise of running errands and a range of outdoor activities that we wouldn't necessarily feel safe for our generation of children to do on their own. These books were aimed at children aged between 5 to 8. It has a kind of Miss Marple (without the murder element)/Enid Blyton feel to it. The 9 year old in this household tells me that she likes M3 because our little heroine is short and goes off on errands.

Even though I like to think that I'm an old fashioned kind of girl and picked old fashioned names for my girls, I have one niggling issue with this series. One thing that baffles me is that any parent in their right mind would name a child Millicent Margaret Amanda... and then reduce that mouthful into the alliterative dimunitive equivalent -- Milly Molly Mandy, no less a mouthful. Multiple middle names are all well and good (looks great on the birth certificate) but I didn't actually believe any parent would actually use them on a daily basis unless in a fit of rage over their children's misdemeanours. If our plutocrats are to be believed, it seems quite unnecessary to expire carbon dioxide into an already carbon congested  environment. :P
No doubt, this is where my utilitarian side emerges.

In all likelihood, it reflects a bygone era, where people were in less of a  hurry and the time spent saying Milly Molly Mandy was worth the effort when Milly, Molly and Mandy were all the rage among the baby naming milieu in the local village. So the child wouldn't just be Milly the Butcher's daughter or Molly the greengrocer's niece or Mandy, the church organist. She is the Milly-Molly-Mandy, living in a nice white cottage with the thatched roof. Even if a third of the girls in the village was a Milly or a Molly or a Mandy respectively, there would be no mistake... there was only one Milly-Molly-Mandy, who ran errands and hung out with Billy Blunt.

I'm sure there's a novel in this waiting to be written.

1 comment:

Let me know what you think!