Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Premature obituaries

Float through any social event with M's fast facts. This week Rachel Simhon explains premature obituaries.

Float through any social event with M's fast facts. This week Rachel Simhon explains premature obituaries.THE BASICS The announcement of the death of Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot threatened to sour the country's joy at the success of the Winter Olympics (Lightfoot, 71, is a national treasure). He is very much alive and heard the "news" on his car radio while driving back from the dentist.

THE HISTORY Down the years many celebrated people have wrongly been reported dead as a result of carelessness, misinformation or hoaxing. Some, such as British folk singer Dave Swarbrick, have been wryly accepting of it ("It isn't the first time I've died in Coventry"); others have been less than amused. In 2001, two Texas DJs were fired for starting a rumour that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake had been killed in a car crash.

THE FALLOUT The dead can't sue for libel, but the living certainly can, so it behoves the writers of disobliging obituaries to double-check this most basic fact before publishing. Many people are devastated to read of their own demise, but good can sometimes come of it: it is said that reading a premature obituary in which he was described as "the merchant of death" prompted Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, to institute his eponymous prizes.

THE CONVERSATION Now that you know what the world really thinks about you, keep your chin up and quote Oscar Wilde: "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 S*uce store at The Dubai Mall. Courtesy: S*uce

S*uce celebrates 10 years of style

As they celebrate their 10th anniversary, the founders and staff of the made-in-the-UAE boutique S*uce look back at their fashion success story.

 Who did we give five stars to? Mathew Kurian / Ravindranath K / The National

Your guide to the UAE’s best burgers

In search of the perfect burger, The National staff taste-tested the country's many burger joints. Which ones stood out from the pack?

 Sense, A Rosewood Spa offers The Gulf Cure, a 90-minute organic treatment that makes use of the detoxifying and relaxing powers of seaweed. Courtesy Sense Spa

Testing the subtle powers of seaweed at Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s Sense Spa

Add seaweed to your beauty regimen, says Kalpana Ramgopal, after a treatment at Sense, the spa at Rosewood Abu Dhabi leaves her with silken skin.

 The Emperor 1688's Golkar brothers. Courtesy Fashion Forward

The Emperor 1688, Kage and House of Fatam nominated for Woolmark Prize

Three UAE-based brands have been nominated for the International Woolmark Prize: the menswear label The Emperor 1688 and the womenswear brands Kage and House of Fatam.

 Steamed Shrimp Dumplings at Lao restaurant the Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah. (Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria)

Dim sum to die for at Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah

Waldorf Astoria has made its debut along the Eastern crescent of Palm Jumeirah. Worth a visit for the Dim Sum is Southeastern Asian restaurant Lao. Check out chef’s recipe below and see our slideshow of other top dishes to sample.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

(serves 10 people)

Ingredients:

Prawns 250g

Potato starch 25g

Tapioca starch 25g

Spring onions 20g

Lukewarm water 20ml

Banana leaves 20g

Sesame oil 50ml

Sesame seeds 50g

 Entrance of the Zuma restaurant at DIFC in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Zuma bans cigar smoking

Zuma, the high-end modern Japanese restaurant concept, has banned cigar smoking in its Dubai location. The move follows the ban on cigar smoking in its bar and lounge areas during lunchtime service that was introduced in April last year and the Dubai Government’s anti-tobacco law that came into force in January.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National