Let us hope Angelina Jolies split from Brad Pitt kills off the fashion for celebrity name fusion before Shakepeares lovers become Antoptra or Ruliet
Does the collapse of the Jolie-Pitt marriage have any significance for the rest of us? Yes. It is a time to call a halt to the business of welding celebrity couples first names together and then in the same spirit of smirking irony inventing a new version that commemorates their parting. #Brangelina has become #Brexelina. #Hiddleswift became #Hiddlesplit. (Its like the word underwhelming, which can never be spoken without the self-conscious and self-congratulatory implication: see what I did? I took the word overwhelming and wittily turned it on its head!)
The first-name fusion has become smug shorthand for stating that you have complete ironic awareness of a gossiped-about relationship, that you are entirely conscious of it as an exploitable brand identity in the celebrity marketplace. Brad and Angelina were not the pioneers of this. That honour surely belongs to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez who were Bennifer: they split in 2004, two years before Twitter was invented, and so were spared its really widespread use, or an ironic split version (Gonnifer?). Shakespeares lovers on the Nile would be #Antopatra, and then #Aspoatra. Or in Verona it would be #Ruliet and then possibly #Ruliex.
It is a mark of the respect in which the US president and first lady are held that they did not become #Barelle. Let it die with #Brangelina.
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