In the headlines

    Ian McMaster
    Von Ian McMaster


    I remember very clearly the first time I saw my name in a national newspaper.

    I was 19 at the time and studying for my economics exams at university. During a break in my revision, I picked up The Times and there was “Ian McMaster” at the top of the page.

    I was quite excited even though I knew of no good reason why I should have been in the news. Then I looked more closely and saw that this was the obituaryNachrufobituaries page. Apparently, I had died. It was, of course, not me but a namesakeNamensvetter/-schwesternamesake.

    It is not always good to see your name in the media

    Last week, I was confronted by a similar incidentVorfallincident. I was at the Bavarian teacher training academy in Dillingen, to to deliverhier: abhaltendeliver a workshop on teaching English for professional purposes. As I entered the workshop room, there was my name beamed on the wall in a CNN headline: “McMaster could leave the White House by the end of the month.”



    This news came as a shock to me and the workshop participants found it most amusing. NBC carried the same news with a different headline: “White House preparing for McMaster exithier: Ausscheidenexit as early as next month.”

    An earlier CNN report had to emphasize sth.etw. hervorhebenemphasized the difficult relationship between McMaster and Donald Trump: „McMaster could leave WH after months of tension with Trump“

    However flatteringschmeichelndflattering it is to know that the White House has time to plan for my exit (from wherever), and however realistic the idea is that I would have a difficult relationship with Donald Trump, this was another namesake: Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, president Trump’s national security adviser. And the next headline I read, in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal, had a nice play on the word “soldier”: “Beleaguered McMaster to soldier on(unermüdlich) weitermachensoldiers on

    The online version of the newspaper at least had the decency to add the general’s initials to its headline to avoid any confusion, but now McMaster was not just beleagueredbelagert; hier: in Bedrängnis geratenbeleaguered but also “undermineduntergraben; hier: geschwächtundermined”:  “Undermined and beleaguered, H.R. McMaster soldiers on”



    By the time I’d read all these headlines, I was starting to feel undermined and beleaguered myself and half losing the energy to soldier on.

    Maybe I’ll consider changing my name to something less troublesome. Any suggestions?


    In his blog, Ian McMaster has been commenting on global business issues since 2002. For older entries, see the blog archive on our former website.