Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yes, that's my name

I came across this article today. I thought it was amusing and shows that celebrities aren't the only people looking for novel baby names. Of course, Asians probably have a more justifiable reason for looking for something unique given the limited number of surnames. Imagine if a quarter of the population ended in Smith or Johnson.

Using a symbol like "@" reminds me of Prince. It's just a lame way to be named. Think about how much teasing this child may go through at school.

Of course, then I think about a friend of mine who complains that he can't write his own Chinese name because his dad had to pick the most complicated character for his first name. His dad is a very educated man who chose American names that had distinct meaning, but at least they were names you find in a baby book.

In this case, maybe it's a good thing the government can reject your paperwork.

Couple Tries to Name Baby 'At' Symbol

Thursday, August 16, 2007

(08-16) 08:21 PDT BEIJING, China (AP) --

A Chinese couple seeking a distinctive and modern name for their child chose the commonly used Internet 'at' symbol, much to the consternation of Chinese officials.

The unidentified couple and the attempted naming were cited Thursday by a Chinese government official as an example of bizarre names creeping into the Chinese language.

The father "said 'the whole world uses it to write e-mails and translated into Chinese it means 'love him,'"' Li Yuming, the vice director of the State Language Commission, said at a news conference.

The symbol pronounced in English as 'at' sounds like the Chinese phrase "love him."

Written Chinese does not use an alphabet but is comprised of characters, sometimes making it difficult to develop new words for new or foreign things and ideas.

In their quest for a different name, Li said that the parents of baby '@' were not alone. As of last year, only 129 surnames accounted for 87 percent of all surnames in China, Li said, suggesting that the uniformity drove people to find more individual given names.

"There was even a 'Zhao-A,' a 'King Osrina' and other extremely individualistic names," Li said, according to a transcript of the news conference posted on the government's main web site, .

Li did not say whether police, who are the arbiters of names because they issue identity cards, rejected baby '@' and the others. But nationwide last year there were 60 million people's names that used "unfamiliar characters," Li said.


P said...

The Chinese may have a lot of common surnames, but their given names are usually pretty unique. I rarely ever find two people with the exact same name. It's the westerners who love to use generic (often biblical) names.

teahouse said...

My parents gave me a pretty unusual's both a blessing and a curse.