Tuesday 23 April 2019

A Rose By Any Other Name

In computer programming it is generally acknowledged that the two hardest problems are cache invalidation, coming up with named for things, and off-by-one errors. It seems that naming is also a challenge when it comes to having children.

I went out with a girl who had the same name as her mum. When she was born she was so poorly that she was expected to die immediately. They wanted to christen her before they cracked her ribcage open and started experimental surgery so they needed a name. In a very stressful and rushed situation her dad had to come up with a name. He just said the name of the first person he saw - his wife.

When I was born my brothers and sister petitioned my mum to have me given a space-aged name. I should have been Hieronymus-Astroflash. I'm glad to say that my father vetoed that and named me himself.

Someone made a mistake registering the birth of a woman I work with. Her middle name should have been Louise, but it was misspelled and her birth certificate said Loise.

I also work with a Dutchman who, frankly, could have made a better job of anglicising his name. To English speakers it sounds like a girl's name and a lot of his telephone conversations start with something like "No that's me. No I'm a bloke. Yeah it's a foreign name."

I know of a boy who, at primary school though his name was pronounced "scene" but it was spelled "Sean". And I've heard exactly the same story of a girl who thought her name was "Why-ve-knee" (Yvonne).

One of my friends has just had a baby daughter and called her Selene. According to his brother he initially thought it was an alternative spelling of Celine. I hope that pronunciation won't last. If you're not sure how to say it, it's from Greek. Think Selenium or Penelope, Persephone, Calliope, Ariadne...

Richard "I'll have to stick to naming functions, variables and parameters" B

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