Yes, agreed a grinning Mr Barroso after listening to a very cheeky question, it would be annoying for the EU media to have to spell out or read out my entire set of names in every news report for the next five years. Or ten; as it turned out.
Therefore you can drop.........(collective holding of journalistic breath).....the "Durao".
The media gladly accepted this 25%-off introductory offer and declared the reduced personage of Jose Manuel Barroso to be a very fine chap and a refreshing change from the outgoing Commission president, Romano Prodi. Although to be fair, Mr Prodi didn't have much in the way of names to drop.
But it was to be only a brief honeymoon period for Jose Manuel. Thanks to events his troubles were just beginning and they never entirely went away: even on his very last day in office, various parts of the BBC still pronounced him as President "Baroozooo".
"It's amazing" said one Portugoose member of his Commission inner circle in the early days of the Barroso ten years' tenure. "It's true his surname should not be pronounced 'Bar-ohsew to rhyme the last part with 'suppose so', but it certainly shouldn't be "Barroozooo", to rhyme with the extended 'moo' of an English or British cow.".
The truth, as is so often the case for those of us tasked with the interpretation of EU politics, lies somewhere between the two.
Jose Manuel Durao Barroso first became familiar to many of us twenty months before becoming Commission president when, as Portugal's prime Minister, he hosted Iraq crisis talks between the US, UK and Spain.
The location was the Azores or, for BBC listeners, the Azooos.
Jose Manuel Durao Barroso was notable as the only head of state or government there who deployed four names, beating Tony Blair's pathetic two names, George W. Bush's irritating two and a bit, and Jose Maria Aznar's commendable effort of three.
Inevitably, the men could barely conceal their differences during their joint post-Iraq talks press conference.
Jose Manuel Durao set the tone by calling George W. Bush plain 'George Bush'. The US President hit back by calling his host plain 'Jose', and then addressed the Spanish prime minister as "Jose Maria".
Jose Maria then added to the tension by referring to the host as "Jose Durao", deliberately missing out the "Manuel".
Jose Maria then handed over to plain "Tony" and plain Tony thanked "Jose Maria", adding, curtly to Barroso "Thank you, Jose, for hosting us today".
It was an unseemly session of name-calling which makes it all the more admirable that, 20 months later, Jose Manuel Durao so readily gave up one of his names in the interests of good media relations.
Of course, those good media relations didn't - couldn't - last.
Any president of the European Commission is servant of the club owners, the Member States, taking the blame when things go wrong and struggling to be recognised above the national glory-basking when things go right.
You wouldn't want the job during, let's say, a global economic crisis when, hypothetically, the euro currency is ill-prepared to cope. You wouldn't want it during; for example, a mad rash of chaotic market-moving eurocrisis-driven summits. You wouldn't want it during a widespread public backlash against EU austerity measures, or during any kind of contentious EU Treaty updates, and certainly not at a time when two founding Member States reject a constitution for Europe and throw everything into panic and confusion. You'd not want to be in charge if the Russian bear started twitching, obviously.
In a nutshell, you wouldn't want the job; period. You might as well agree to herd 28 malevolent cats, knowing that if they mark their territory, poo on the carpet, scratch the furniture or heaven forbid, escape through the cat-flap, it will be totally your fault. And maybe more cats on the way. And there's a nasty big cat in the neighbourhood which is nothing to do with us but which might cause trouble...
On which last point, President Durao had a rare drop of good fortune on his very last day in office. After the valedictory speeches had been concluded and the President had left the stage for the last time, an accord between Russia and Ukraine on winter gas supplies, brokered by the Commission, was concluded as midnight approached on the eve of Barroso's last day.
It's all about timing. The President duly seized the moment. He abandoned his packing to return one last time to the news headlines, declaring: "I am delighted that I can announce a major success at the end of my mandate as President of the European Commission". You bet he was. His energy Commissioner and staff had done the grunt work; naturally, but it was Barroso's moment, and why not?
So now Jose Manuel leaves on a high note and Jean-Claude Juncker arrives to take the strain and names are still the game. A colleague asked me if he's pronounced Juncker as in jelly or Juncker as in yellow. And at his first press conference there was a terse exchange with a hack who criticised Mr Yuncker's pronounciation of the name "Georgieva". To which the president's sharp replay was "I bet you can't pronounce my name in Lietzebuergesch." Good bluff.
Next thing you know we'll be asking the new arrival to drop the Claude and accept being called "JJ" for the next five years. Or ten.