Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Cardinal Sin"

There are plenty of people walking around with puns for names. Many of them made punk music in the early eighties. But it's rarer to find someone who (a) came about the pun in their name quite naturally, and (b) carries a punning name that's genuinely funny.

So meet Jaime Sin, who died in 2005, but before that was famous not only for his high ranking within the Catholic Church and his importance to the politics of the Philippines but also for the awesome name that resulted from that position. As Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus of Manila, he was known as 'Cardinal Sin'.

If you don't get the joke, while 'Sin' (or Xin or Shin) is not that uncommon a name in eastern Asia, the joke is that what we also call the 'seven deadly sins' are also called 'Cardinal Sins'. So gluttony, for example, is a Cardinal Sin. As is lust. As, of course, is this guy.

Cardinal Sin had a sense of humour about his name, referring to his official residence as 'the house of Sin'. He might also have taken water-off-a-duck's-back comfort in the knowledge that his efforts to topple the Marcos regime and bring democracy to his homeland would, ultimately, matter more than the odd giggle about his name.

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