Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The sphere of influence

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to "chris",

    Word up...

    And that’s my annual word quota

    Now there's a world to imagine...

    If we all were allowed only so many words to communicate annually...

    people would measure their words more carefully
    meter, metered and meted out

    ...after that we'd have to buy extra quota (if it's available to the masses),
    or wordband - like broadband.
    or steal conversations, or go to the black market
    for synthetic languages, that defy regulation?

    They do realise 'words' are mind altering, don't they?
    (best we don't tell them...)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    That would probably result in us speaking German, counting only 1 word for those multi-word stylings they use. Schlimbesserung, much?

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to "chris",

    So I’m genuinely interested in your answer here:

    Where do you draw the line?

    It depends on the purpose and who you are communicating with.

    For official purposes, full and formal names are required. If you have to bridge a language gap then you're obviously going to have to change your name a bit to even be able to use the characters available in the other language, and should stick to the characters from then on. But that's already problematic, especially if you make a poor choice, when your mastery of the language is extremely weak and you are unaware of how it will trouble natives, or be ridiculed by them. The idea of taking a name in that language is extremely compelling, if your name is likely to be mangled.

    It's also a wonderful opportunity for self invention, one of the greatest reasons for travel in the first place. You may actually be a different person amongst different peers. You can choose who you are, how you wish to be known, afresh. You might want to let your peers choose a name based on your character. That seems like a very good idea, really, and much how names are conferred everywhere. If you have a particular talent, it can be built into the name, making it easier to remember, and to stand out as well. You should be able to escape the annoyance of people fucking up your name, or making fun of it. That isn't how you want to be remembered, the girl whose name sounded like "bareback" or the guy whose name sounds like "Who", when instead your name could instantly reminisce people of some extremely popular star, or some cool and interesting invention summing them up. Or you might just want something really commonplace, but evocative of your original name.

    It would be a pity to lose these chances.

    In informal use, it's entirely up to people how they want to be addressed, and entirely up to people addressing them whether they do. Nicknaming is common and a lot of people like their nickname more than their real name, even in their own language. Or they prefer their last name - I've noticed that's really common amongst people who went to Grammar schools, probably because of teachers having done it, and also because last names are often more remarkable, or simply because there are people of the same first name within circles.

    Within families it's extremely common just to refer to the person by a familiar for their position wrt to the speaker. Mum, Granddad, etc.

    So names are a pretty complex thing, and if someone doesn't want to tell you the name you want to hear, there's often a pretty good reason for it. If you can actually say their real name well, that might even be less of a reason for them to let you know it. There is power in names, and giving over that power is something people have every right to at least have reservations about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    Nomenclature or name calling?

    There is power in names, and giving over that power is something people have every right to at least have reservations about.

    Indeed, names are serious magick, and some are not to be toyed with, nor given away lightly – one should always endeavour to get people’s names right, good things flow from that start…

    Interesting to note:
    the earliest recorded use of Wilson, the patronymic surname of Will, appears in England as Willeson in 1324.
    and much like ‘Mr Con Heady” has had other scribed iterations based on utterations: Willson, Wilsone, Wulson, Wilsoun and others..

    and that the family motto is:
    ’Vincit qui se vincit’
    “he conquers, who conquers himself”

    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

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