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Baby names, calling women "darling" and the rise of turbo trainers

A french couple have been banned from calling their baby girl Liam. They have been advised instead to give the child a more feminine name, for fear of gender confusion.

In many countries it is common practise to give your child a "unisex" name like Alex, Sam or Charlie. Not so in France where naming your child is subject to far greater restrictions, with the authorities sometimes even stepping in, as is the case here.

The couple, who have not been named (ironically), have been reported to the courts for trying to give their third child a traditionally male name and have been told they absolutely must change it, as Liam is "likely to cause gender confusion" and harm the child's "social relations".

If the parents do not change the baby's name themselves, she will be allocated a name by the judge instead. The best bit of the tale is that in court, the prosecutor quoted examples of famous men with the name Liam to support his argument, including Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and actor Liam Neeson.

At last word, the parents are still battling the case and have requested the services of a lawyer who - it would make for a marvelous world - was found out to also be called Liam.

A female radio host cut off a caller after he repeatedly called her "darling" and "love". Lynsey Hipgrave, a TalkSPORT radio presenter was discussing the recent controversies surrounding FA boss Martin Glenn, who was forced to publicly apologise after he compared the Star of David to a Swastika, when the offending call took place.

The caller, going by the name Gareth, phoned in to add his own views to the debate, greeting Ms Hipgrave with the words, "Hello love". At another point he butted in on Ms Hipgrave with an "Excuse me, darling..." And when Ms Hipgrave told him to lay off the darlings, Gareth resorted back to "love". Ms Hipgrave hung up.

She has since clarified on Twitter that it wasn't what Gareth said that made her cut off the call, but the way he said it. Predictably, her tweet has amassed much support for lambasting the "patronising" caller, whilst others called it an "overreaction".

An Indian man who woke up after spending a night in a morgue, wasn't dead at all, it transpired. It was something of good timing for Himanshu Bharadwaj who was just about to be cut open for a post mortem.

Mr Bharadwaj had been, wrongly, pronounced dead after a car crash. The pathologist at the hospital in Nagpur had detected a pulse just as he was picking up a blade to perform an autopsy. A large crowd gathered outside the hospital to protest against the perceived negligence but Mr Bharadwaj's family have called it a "miracle".

I think we can take today's stories as a lesson in subjectivity. One person's gender inappropriate name is another person's gender appropriate name. One person's everyday sexism is another person's term of endearment. One person's dead is another person's very much still living.

One person's absolute stomach churner of a trainer is another person's idea of footwear catnip. To which end, 'turbo trainers' are the new trainers of the season. Begone you slim-line Stan Smiths, Nike fly knits and Converse. Now it is all about your souped-up trainers, with big chunky soles and plenty of bounce.

Cast your mind back to the clod-hopper trainers of the 1990's, add a touch of sci-fi and you're almost there. Designers have been sending them down runways with everything from trouser suits to floaty dresses, with frenzied fashion followers reportedly rushing to the shops to scoop up limited editions by the likes of Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton.

To grab your own super-sized slice of the action, how about try the Acne Studios Manhattan multi white technical sneakers - press a button on the side and they shoot our rocket boosters. (Sales advisory note - this only happens in your dreams and episodes of The Jetsons).


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