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Naming customs (was Re: punctuated abbreviations)

From:taliesin the storyteller <taliesin@...>
Date:Sunday, October 20, 2002, 21:08
* Christophe Grandsire said on 2002-10-20 21:13:33 +0200
> En réponse à Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>: > > (Hey, it's not my fault the convention doesn't accommodate > > independent-minded women *or* Koreans.) > > Or cases when the man takes the name of the wife! :)) Vey rare in > Western countries I know, but in France for instance it's an official > possibility (actually, in France you don't "take" the name of your > husband or wife, but get a right of use of their name. But you always > keep your original name.
Up in currently cold and icy Norway, it is more and more common for both parties to keep their last names, or pick the rarest of them. The first might be because the process of legally changing one's name (last or first) is a non-trivial process, though the fee is quite reasonable. Both the forms of last and first names are restricted; fancy spellings are frowned upon, the first name must not be a burden for the carrier, and if a last name is not inherited it must be among the "common" names unless every single adult carrier of the rare last name agrees to the switch, in writing. When a pair of friends of mine married a few years back, he took her last name as it was the rarest; yes, they had to do the "begging" round to get it accepted but the name is so rare I guess it wasn't that hard to track them all down. Last names are important here still as they are traced to farms; if you buy and take over a farm you often also change your last name to that of the farm. (Norway might be a European country without aristocracy but instead we had thousands of very powerful, very independent stor-bønder (great-farmers) who basically were an aristocracy in everything but name. Which of course is why a rare last name for some reason is perceived as a Good Thing(tm).) ObConlang: AFM concultures and conlangs, names are gender neutral, nick-names are more important than given names. Last names quickly get so long and unwieldy (of course you have to list every single unique last name inherited from all parents in ascending order depending on prestige, + where you're from (culture, world, people at the least)) that you go by your nick-name only (if you can get away with it), which is why they tend to be good, long and memorable ones (and shorter nick-names for the nick-names for everyday use). t.