Thursday, 11 October 2007

Quibbles and bits

I may have mentioned this before, but if so, it was only in passing, and surely I'm allowed more bloviation than that, aren't I?

Besides ending their statements with rhetorical questions, the English are also extremely fond of shortening names, and particularly, sticking an 'S' at the end of them. Initially I assumed I was just reading too many tabloids (no less than three free ones vie for my attention during the daily commute -- between them I manage to get a vague understanding of what's going on in the real world, and a precise, detailed understanding of what Amy Winehouse wore last night. Has anyone noted that her name is an aptronym, with her reputation as an alcoholic? As usual I digress), but the name-'S'-ing is commonplace at work as well, though there is a pronunciation affinity required for it to work (you can make Hilary "Hils", but you can't make Wesley "Wess"; certain borderline cases like Sarah becoming "Sars" -- rhymes with corsairs -- I'm not sure about, though I suspect certain regions would embrace that appalling appellation). It's especially prominent with beloved sports figures -- God forbid you're a first division footballer born with a multisyllabic surname: you're destined to be known as Becks, not Beckham, Lamps, not Lampard, or perhaps Roo instead of Rooney. Americans, I think, would be content with simple short forms, like Beck or Lamp, but what do I know. They'd probably end up being called D-Bex and F-Lamp.

The end. For now.


At 12 October 2007 23:38 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

please re-post the Cadfael drinking game! Give my love to Sarah - Heather

At 13 October 2007 16:33 , Blogger lynneguist said...

You might be interested in this post on my blog on the same name trend. Cheers!

At 13 October 2007 23:54 , Blogger Wesley said...

Thanks Lynne, exhaustive on the subject as always -- I hadn't thought about the Madge connection, but it makes sense.

Heather -- I'll see if I can dredge it from the archives. (The Cadfael game, that is, not your love to Sarah).


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