A different kind of naming convention



  •  You know how every once in a while someone will come along and do something you took for granted in a completely different way? Well, it seems that in between shovelling snow and running from volcanos the Icelanders have come up with a novel way of naming their offspring...



  • It's a patronymic. Those were incredibly common hundreds of years ago but were abandoned once people realized how stupid it was. I'm kind of surprised this is the first you've heard of it. Also, this chilling quote:

    @Wikipedia said:

    First names that have not been previously used in Iceland must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee (Icelandic: Mannanafnanefnd) before being used.

    WTF? Tyranny much?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It's a patronymic. Those were incredibly common hundreds of years ago but were abandoned once people realized how stupid it was.
    Like in the case of one particular line of my ancestors who under the Icelandic system would have gone a couple of centuries alternating "Alexander Matthewsson" with "Matthew Alexandersson".


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @DOA said:

    the Icelanders have come up with a novel way of naming their offspring...
    As pointed out, this is neither novel, nor new. If anything it's old and out of date, going back to the period when alternative surnames following the profession of the person concerned (Fletcher, Smith, Potter, Fisher, Hacker, Computer-Geek, etc.) were used.



  • I actually think it's kinda cool... and it beats the Italian tradition of giving children the FIRST names of their fathers, uncles, etc...

    "Tony! Get over here!"

    four men named Anthony and one woman named Antonia answer



  • Yeah. It's one of the examples listed when pointing out that trying to parse firstname/lastname by splitting at the first space you find so that you can do "Dear [title] [lastname]" (rude in Iceland, wrong in Hungary or Japan) or "Hi [firstname]" (ditto, plus annoying to binomial firstnamers) is a really bad idea.



  • @lrucker said:

    Yeah. It's one of the examples listed when pointing out that trying to parse firstname/lastname by splitting at the first space you find so that you can do "Dear [title] [lastname]" (rude in Iceland, wrong in Hungary or Japan) or "Hi [firstname]" (ditto, plus annoying to binomial firstnamers) is a really bad idea.
     

    Accounts for all that spam I get that begins "Dear da".



  • Then there's the "assuming two people who did something together, are of opposite genders, and have the same last name are a married couple" fallacy - my brother still gets mail addressed to him and my MOM as "Mr. and Mrs."!



  • @da Doctah said:

    Accounts for all that spam I get that begins "Dear da".

    I can understand field-interpolating scripts, but worse still are humans that don't exercise any common sense.



  • @da Doctah said:

    @lrucker said:

    Yeah. It's one of the examples listed when pointing out that trying to parse firstname/lastname by splitting at the first space you find so that you can do "Dear [title] [lastname]" (rude in Iceland, wrong in Hungary or Japan) or "Hi [firstname]" (ditto, plus annoying to binomial firstnamers) is a really bad idea.
     

    Accounts for all that spam I get that begins "Dear da".

    this is good example of redundancy. Da mean dear in many tongues.



  •  True story: around 1980, I was handed a file of names and addresses and asked to "put it in the computer" so they could do various things to it:  select just people in certain states, sort by zipcode for mass mailings, format a salutation line for an enclosed letter (that had to be mixed-case because "DEAR ANTONIO," doesn't look dignified.

    The file I received looked something like this:

    <font size="-1">JAYNE A PHOENIX
    2260 MAIN ST.
    WASHINGTON DC 20008
    #####
    ZACHARY SCHMIDT
    1501 LOMAS BLVD NW
    NEW YORK, NY 10036-1234
    #####
    CAPITAL JEWELERS, LLC
    6101 MENAUL BLVD NE
    NEW YORK NY 10036-9874
    #####
    HAL W. JONES
    1160 EL PASEO
    D-3
    NEW YORK, NY 10036-6547
    #####
    JOHN LUSK
    609 N MAIN ST
    NEW YORK, NY 10036-9431
    #####
    HAROLD BROWN
    316 W BENDER BLVD
    NEW YORK, NY 10036-8731
    #####
    HOWARD BUTTER
    267 THAMES ST
    LOS ANGELES CA 90013-1234
    #####
    STEVEN MACDONALD
    140 BELLEVUE AVE
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90013-6654
    #####
    FREDERICK MOONEY
    151 EXCHANGE ST
    SAN CLEMENTE, CA 90716-7894
    #####
    PETER FORTE
    172 MATHEWSON ST
    SAN DIEGO, CA 92126-3225
    #####
    BETTY CHONG
    NEW WAVE IMAGE
    110 WESTMINSTER ST
    LOS ANGELES, CA 90013-4848
    #####
    SALLY MCCARTHY
    141 MAIN STREET
    WARWICK, RI 02888-4567
    #####
    FLORIN MIHUT
    1155 NORTH MAIN ST
    PROVIDENCE, RI 02904-3211
    #####
    RICHARD SMITH
    143 BADGER AVE
    #16
    PROVIDENCE, RI 02906-4561
    #####
    CHARLES P. JOHNSON
    160 NIANTIC AVE
    PROVIDENCE RI 02907-3116
    #####
    JOSEPH TERINO JR.
    PO BOX 3375
    PROVIDENCE, RI 02909-0375
    #####
    STEVEN JONES
    2 5TH AVE
    CRANSTON, RI 02910-4923
    #####
    JIMMY GARNER
    PO BOX 1714
    SIOUX FALLS, SD 57101-1714
    #####
    ROBERT MAKEPEACE
    27 E KEMP ST
    WATERTOWN, SD 57201-3606
    #####
    BRUCE SCHWAN
    923 6TH AVE SE
    ABERDEEN, SD 57401-4627
    #####
    SARAH CHOBCZAK
    RAPID CITY, SD 57709-6400
    #####
    SIDNEY BARBER
    192 E 12300 S
    DRAPER, UT 84020-8187
    #####
     </font>

    It contained ten thousand "mailing labels", with those lines of octothorpes indicating a page-feed to the next peel-and-stick label.  All caps.  Some had the zip on a separate line from the city and state, others didn't, still others omitted it altogether.  Some omitted the state altogether (Ajo was the site of one of our branches, and everybody knew the only Ajo was in Arizona); others spelled out state names in full, and others used an abbreviation but the wrong one (the Post Office was apparently trusted to know that there was no Ajo, Arkansas).  Sometimes there was a comma between city and state, sometimes not.  Most were for individuals, but entities like public libraries were on the list on their own behalf.

    The greatest challenges were massaging the names to handle the decapitalization and to find the beginning of the surname.  When your contact base includes people with first names like "Billy Joe" and last names like "De La Rosa", you can't just look for a space in a particular position and hack up the line there. Just as you couldn't automatically capitalize just the first letter of each word (couldn't even assume exceptions for names beginning with "Mac" either; we had a "Machan" on the list).  And what do you put at the top of the letter addressed to "Greenlee County Library"?  "Dear Greenlee" don't cut it.

    Might make a nice challenge for today's coders.  Try to write an entirely automated procedure that achieves 99.8% accuracy (my high point) without human intervention.  If I or anyone else still had a copy of the original file, we could benchmark against it, but even the company that paid me to do this back in the day no longer exists (they were devoured by another corporation that's currently having labor problems in Indonesia).



  • @da Doctah said:

     True story: around 1980, I was handed a file of names and addresses and asked to "put it in the computer" so they could do various things to it:  select just people in certain states, sort by zipcode for mass mailings, format a salutation line for an enclosed letter (that had to be mixed-case because "DEAR ANTONIO," doesn't look dignified.

    The file I received looked something like this:

    "I can do that. Do you have the file in a different format, such as a spreadsheet or tab-separated values? Only.. to put in the computer will take minutes, but to turn it into a compter-readable format first will take days, and I guess you don't want to spend unnecessary money on having me painstakingly edit this file when you've got it in a more sensible format that will make the overall solution cheaper for you ..."

    Anyway.. the answer is Perl, right? If they insisted on that data presentation, I'd insist on a schema and stick to that, presenting them with the results and letting them decide if it's right/wrong. Data cleaning shouldn't be part of the job.



  • @Cassidy said:

    "I can do that. Do you have the file in a different format, such as a spreadsheet or tab-separated values? Only.. to put in the computer will take minutes, but to turn it into a compter-readable format first will take days, and I guess you don't want to spend unnecessary money on having me painstakingly edit this file when you've got it in a more sensible format that will make the overall solution cheaper for you ..."

    Nice try, but the file was the file.  There was no "different format", and I pretty much took it as read that it had grown by manual insertion and deletion of lines over a period of some years.  In fact, I'm firmly convinced that if I'd seen it much earlier than I did, it would have taken the form of a box of punch cards.


    Anyway.. the answer is Perl, right? If they insisted on that data presentation, I'd insist on a schema and stick to that, presenting them with the results and letting them decide if it's right/wrong. Data cleaning shouldn't be part of the job.

     

    The job wasn't to create a program; that was my idea.  The job was to get the contents of the mailing list into the computer in a way that would allow the things they wanted, and data cleaning would be considered part of that job.

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    Nice try, but the file was the file.  There was no "different format", and I pretty much took it as read that it had grown by manual insertion and deletion of lines over a period of some years.

    shudder

    @da Doctah said:

    The job wasn't to create a program; that was my idea.  The job was to get the contents of the mailing list into the computer in a way that would allow the things they wanted, and data cleaning would be considered part of that job.

    Erm.. okay, I misunderstood. So there were two problems to solve: creating a DB, and populating the DB. I was just thinking of the latter issue.

     



  •  You were also thinking it was 1990 instead of 1980.  Waiting around for them to invent Perl would have taken several times longer than re-entering all ten thousand names and addresses from scratch.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It's a patronymic. Those were incredibly common hundreds of years ago but were abandoned once people realized how stupid it was.

    Why is it especially stupid? For most of history there was no need to track lineage back more than one generation for anybody outside nobility, and nobility had an entire records keeping system devoted to that purpose. These dyas its even LESS relevant that your last name should happen to match that of one of your parents / grandparents.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It's a patronymic. Those were incredibly common hundreds of years ago but were abandoned once people realized how stupid it was. I'm kind of surprised this is the first you've heard of it. Also, this chilling quote:

    @Wikipedia said:

    First names that have not been previously used in Iceland must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee (Icelandic: Mannanafnanefnd) before being used.

    WTF? Tyranny much?

     

    Chilling? Iceland? Been on a create writing course?

    Anyway, there are good reasons for having such committees. You wouldn't want someone called Trea, who then names his son High.

    It's not freedom to name your child whatever you want. Sure, you can define it as such, but what good is that when you put more people in prison than any other nation.



  • @TGV said:

    Sure, you can define it as such, but what good is that when you put more people in prison than any other nation.

    It's times like this that I am reminded of a great piece of advice given by Jim Carey's character in Liar Liar. "Stop breaking the law, asshole!"



  • So, America has more assholes in prison than other countries? Interesting observation. I suppose it gets a lot of assholes in jail because the legal system is so full of shit...



  • @TGV said:

    It's not freedom to name your child whatever you want.

    This quote is the essence of the laughable failure that is Europe.



  • @swiers said:

    I suppose it gets a lot of assholes in jail because the legal system is so full of shit...

    Goddammit, I've already told you: we're not repealing those child predator laws. Now please step at least 500 feet from the playground before you are arrested.



  • @swiers said:

    Why is it especially stupid? For most of history there was no need to track lineage back more than one generation for anybody outside nobility, and nobility had an entire records keeping system devoted to that purpose.

    There was also no need to bathe regularly or learn how to read. Yes, let's all just wallow in our own ignorant filth, like Frenchmen!

    @swiers said:

    These dyas its even LESS relevant that your last name should happen to match that of one of your parents / grandparents.

    [citation needed] And even if you were right (and, hint: you are not) it's not like a patronymic is somehow preferable; "I am Tom, son of John" sounds retarded. Or, I guess we could be a bunch of limp-wristed Euromen and just name our children with a distinct numeric sequence. So long as all of the digits are approved by the government, of course.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    the laughable failure that is Europe.
     

    BREAKING NEWS

    The "European "Union"" may decide to split up the "united" set of nations into a few separate regions with subtly different economic rules and requirements.

    This is done because middle-ground solutions are always awesome and the very best.



  • @swiers said:

    So, America has more assholes in prison than other countries? Interesting observation. I suppose it gets a lot of assholes in jail because the legal system is so full of shit...

    Of course not. The legal system is pretty damn good, especially on the criminal side. The problems, I think, are mostly a surfeit of over zealous laws as a result of, "There ought to be a law!" mentalities (prevalent...everywhere), and the overwhelming success that the modern Progressive Welfare State has had in destroying the black family, which is apparently a fair tradeoff for having Democrats control big cities and Congress for much (most?) of the last century.



  • @boomzilla said:

    "There ought to be a law!" mentalities (prevalent...everywhere)
     

    +1

    @boomzilla said:

    the overwhelming success that the modern Progressive Welfare State has had in destroying the black family

    wait what

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @TGV said:
    It's not freedom to name your child whatever you want.

    This quote is the essence of the laughable failure that is Europe.

     

    Wait until the dollar drops below 0.1 yuan, and the Bipartisans have taken power.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    "I am Tom, son of John" sounds retarded.

    Only if sounding like an uber-macho Viking is considered "retarded"...



  • @ekolis said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    "I am Tom, son of John" sounds retarded.

    Only if sounding like an uber-macho Viking is considered "retarded"...


    There is no if, then.

    On a sidenote, did you change your forum picture? Didn't we agree this was heresy and would be punished? Like we did with dhromed (either that or morbs has very weird tastes)?



  • @serguey123 said:

    punished? Like we did with dhromed
     

    I was never punished.



  • @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    punished? Like we did with dhromed
     

    I was never punished.


    Don't tell him that



  • @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    punished? Like we did with dhromed
     

    I was never punished.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    punished? Like we did with dhromed
     

    I was never punished.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.

     


    Don't tell him that



  • @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    I was never punished.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one. 

     



  • @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    I was never punished.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one. 

     

    Don't tell him that



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    "I am Tom, son of John" sounds retarded.

    Guess what the second most common surname in the 2000 US Census was.



  • @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one. 

    Don't tell him that

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.

     



  • @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    @dhromed said:

    @serguey123 said:

    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.


    Don't tell him that
     

    No, I mean, he still owes me one. 

    Don't tell him that

    No, I mean, he still owes me one.

     


    Don't tell him that


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @pjt33 said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    "I am Tom, son of John" sounds retarded.
    Guess what the second most common surname in the 2000 US Census was.
    Smith?



  • @PJH said:

    @pjt33 said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    "I am Tom, son of John" sounds retarded.
    Guess what the second most common surname in the 2000 US Census was.
    Smith?
    Nope, but for 2020 my money's on Patel.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    It's a patronymic. Those were incredibly common hundreds of years ago but were abandoned once people realized how stupid it was. I'm kind of surprised this is the first you've heard of it. Also, this chilling quote:

    @Wikipedia said:

    First names that have not been previously used in Iceland must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee (Icelandic: Mannanafnanefnd) before being used.

    WTF? Tyranny much?

    I think that's a really good idea. Children are already basically state property. The state endeavors to protect them from sexual advances, hunger, etc., so it's not as if protecting them from being named "Moonbeam Praline" (or whatever) is that different.


    I'm not a political conservative, but I do think that conservative politicians could score some points with this sort of issue. Their supporters wouldn't countenance a list of valid names, but how about a ban on apostrophes in names? This is one of those proposals that sounds reasonable, but has a disproportionate impact on minority cultures. This sort of thing is usually snatched upon by the right wing... I'm not sure what the hold-up is here, unless the topic is just too esoteric for the conservative mind.



  • @bridget99 said:

    protecting them from being named "Moonbeam Praline"
     

    Naming them afer a sweet tasty treat practically begs for child pornography.



  • @bridget99 said:

    Children are already basically state property. The state endeavors to protect them from sexual advances, hunger, etc.,
     

    So what are the roles of the parents in all this?

    I know in the UK many parents seem to feel the state should be the ones fulfilling many parental responsibilities (because they're pretty crap at performing it themselves but won't take any blame for it) but this strikes me as an interesting experiment.



  • @bridget99 said:

    how about a ban on apostrophes in names?

    Sounds like a reasonable idea, but it will inevitably be declared to be "racist" in some fashion...



  • @ekolis said:

    @bridget99 said:
    how about a ban on apostrophes in names?

    Sounds like a reasonable idea, but it will inevitably be declared to be "racist" in some fashion...

    Yeah, great, yet another anti-Irish law.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cassidy said:

    @bridget99 said:

    Children are already basically state property. The
    state endeavors to protect them from sexual advances, hunger, etc.,
     

    So what are the roles of the parents in all this?

    They don't have one. They're there merely to breed to produce the next set of voters who will justify the bully-statism that's infecting the western world. Anyway, hyperbole aside...@Cassidy said:

    I know in the UK many parents seem to feel the state should be the ones fulfilling many parental responsibilities (because they're pretty crap at performing it themselves but won't take any blame for it) but this strikes me as an interesting experiment.

    They don't feel that because they're crap at doing it themselves - it's because the [UK] government (of any stripe) have, in recent years, condesended to abdicate the parent's responsibilites. I refer you to my post about Loius Theroux, who should (in any decent society) put his son up for adoption because he (Louis) can't be bothered being a parent and monitor his (the young son's) web use


  • @PJH said:

    They don't feel that because they're crap at doing it themselves - it's because the [UK] government (of any stripe) have, in recent years, condesended to abdicate the parent's responsibilites.

    Mmmmm... okay. I'm going to concede chicken and egg scenario here: values and attitudes of society are shaped by Govt policy and state intervention (nanny state, anyone?).

    I'm concerned that to get things back on track, the decision-makers are going to have to make many unpopular decisions, and recent attempts at that haven't turned out too well. Not just for UK but other nations, too.

    As an aside: you a born-n-bred Geordie, or you an immigrant to the land of stotty?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Cassidy said:

    As an aside: you a born-n-bred Geordie, or you an immigrant to the land of stotty?
    Yes. And you misspelled stottie.



  • @PJH said:

    And you misspelled stottie
     

    Awa', man. Both spillings came up in google.


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