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Author Topic: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People  (Read 1174784 times)

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Hillia

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1245 on: December 06, 2013, 07:04:58 PM »
I recall a friend from India once explaining that her "surname" that she used in the USA was actually her father's given name rather than a family name. The impression I got was that she had not had/used a surname in India, but had started using her father's name when she was moving to the USA, where everyone is expected to have a surname. If there's anyone here familiar with India, does that sound normal/likely? I might be misremembering, but I think that's what she described.

I work with a lot of folks from India, and this sounds familiar.  In fact, I think the person explaining to me said that there aren't really surnames as such; if people need them for government forms or whatever, they use their father's name. 

NyaChan

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1246 on: December 06, 2013, 08:02:46 PM »
My dad's side of the family has a last name, an official first name, a first name for family, a short version of the official name for ease at work and in some documents, and various nicknames. 

My maternal uncle doesn't use the same last name as his parents, apparently somewhere along the line he just used his first name as his last name and pulled a new first name from one of his names for family.

Yeah, I didn't even know about my aunts' and uncles' actual names until I was in high school.

MommyPenguin

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1247 on: December 06, 2013, 08:36:39 PM »
When I worked at a library, I had a number of library cards with what sounded like Indian names.  The pattern would often be something like:

Husband = HusbandFirst HusbandLast
Wife = WifeFirst WifeLast
Child = ChildFirst HusbandFirst

I don't remember if the girls had the wife's first name as their last, but I *think* all the kids, girl or boy, had the husband's first name as their last name.
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BB-VA

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1248 on: December 06, 2013, 08:50:24 PM »
I know a couple - Indian husband/American wife.  Husband felt that his Indian last name had contributed to bullying issues he experienced growing up in the US, so he insisted that not only should his wife keep her family last name, the kids should have her last name too.  They compromised in giving the kids Indian first names.

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kherbert05

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1249 on: December 06, 2013, 10:05:26 PM »
An acquaintance of mine from the UK visited the South Island of New Zealand in winter and hated her entire three weeks in the country because the weather was not hot enough. Fair enough, bad weather can interfere with travel plans or other activities,  but further conversation revealed that the weather had been typical for the climate and time of year, and in fact she believed that everywhere 'abroad' was hot and she and her boyfriend had previously discussed moving to Canada 'because he liked hillwalking and she liked hot weather'. She got a bit annoyed with me when I tried to explain.

 :o

Well, I think that's finally done it. My brain has officially left the building. What would one say to that? "Have you you-tubed Canada lately, then? You know, before you move."
Well it was a few years ago so maybe You Tube wasn't on  her radar...but it didn't predate...like, atlases and stuff :-)

And considering there are people who get off the plane in Toronto and expect us to be living in igloos, that's just outright bizarre!  Buddy of mine was stopped by some tourists in July, hauling snowmobiles.  They asked them how much further they'd have to drive to get to the snow!
My students though I was pulling their legs when I told them my cousin builds a hockey rink in his backyard every winter. Even after I showed them pictures of his kids skating on it they couldn't wrap their heads around the fact the ice doesn't melt in the sun. Now these are 2nd graders that live in the subtropics, so they do have a bit of an excuse.
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Tea Drinker

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1250 on: December 06, 2013, 10:53:15 PM »
It is very common for Indonesians to use only one name. Which leads to Western newspaper stories about "General XYZ (who uses only one name)" or "Suharto (who used only one name)." In a previous job, I worked with a one-named man from southern India; for dealing with western publications and official paperwork, he used "L. Lastname," where Lastname was his given name and he was just repeating the initial, and signed everything with a nickname based on that.
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JoW

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1251 on: December 06, 2013, 11:00:43 PM »
I recall a friend from India once explaining that her "surname" that she used in the USA was actually her father's given name rather than a family name. The impression I got was that she had not had/used a surname in India, but had started using her father's name when she was moving to the USA, where everyone is expected to have a surname. If there's anyone here familiar with India, does that sound normal/likely? I might be misremembering, but I think that's what she described.

I work with a lot of folks from India, and this sounds familiar.  In fact, I think the person explaining to me said that there aren't really surnames as such; if people need them for government forms or whatever, they use their father's name.
When I was in college I had a professor from India.  The last name he used had 5 letters.  He showed someone in out class his driver's licence.  His real, full last name started with those 5 letters but filled 2 lines on his driver's licence. 

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1252 on: December 06, 2013, 11:11:42 PM »
Since Australian animals are currently on-topic . . .

I saw a TV commercial this evening for some smart phone, with a couple of guys talking about a shrink ray. One guy said it would be cool to shrink a bandicoot.  Then they all admitted they didn't know what a bandicoot is.

Hey, idiots -- you're standing there with smart phones.  Google it.

Actually, the people that need to be told this are the people who came up with the commercial and the company that's paying to air it.  It's not a great endorsement for the product.
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Leafy

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1253 on: December 07, 2013, 12:47:25 AM »
I was just reading the posts about mincemeat pie in the "holiday hill to die on" thread...I had always vaguely heard of/read about mincemeat pie, but no one who mentioned it actually said what was in it. Silly me, I thought the name of it made sense and would tell me what it was - so I assumed it was a savory ground up meat pie (kind of like a piroshki). It didn't help that one of the contexts I heard it in was when a character in a story was threatening to grind another into mincemeat (no, it wasn't Sweeney Todd ::)). Then at some point someone started talking about the fruit in a mince pie and...I became very confused. :-[ Turns out the original recipe was ground meat, suet and fruit and it has become sweeter over time. Most modern recipes don't even have meat in them or even suet, but no one has changed the name to Spiced Fruit Pie. Well, I still consider "mincemeat pie" to be false advertising. :P

I definitely call them fruit mince pies, and I think most commercially sold pies in Australia are called fruit mince pies.

I make mini fruit mince pies and find this recipe super easy and yummy: http://sunbeamfoods.com.au/recipes/christmas-recipes/6-sweet-petite-mince-pies
 
Fine for vegetarians but not vegans due to the butter pastry.

greencat

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1254 on: December 07, 2013, 12:58:03 AM »
My mind got boggled pretty early in life by a pair of twins I went to high school with.  I had to pull a complete list of our class for a grade-wide project, and...discovered that the twins were not only identical to look at, but their parents had given them both the same full legal name.  Their records had to be differentiated by their Social Security numbers, which were, of course, very very close together. 

I frequently get contacts by students whose names fall outside of the format normally used by the Anglo-centric world - one poor kid had eight names distributed between the first name and last name fields - I think his middle name field contained an additional two names!   This tends to cause them a great deal of difficulty using some of the automated processes.  Another girl had a special character not normally seen by our systems, which ended up creating a very odd looking jumble in the middle of her name. 

As far as silly things I've had to tell people: no, I can't make it across town (meaning, here, a drive of about 15 city miles) in traffic after work in ten minutes - I can't even make it to my own house that fast after work, and I only live two miles away from work!

White Dragon

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1255 on: December 07, 2013, 01:02:39 AM »

Quote
An acquaintance of mine from the UK visited the South Island of New Zealand in winter and hated her entire three weeks in the country because the weather was not hot enough. Fair enough, bad weather can interfere with travel plans or other activities,  but further conversation revealed that the weather had been typical for the climate and time of year, and in fact she believed that everywhere 'abroad' was hot and she and her boyfriend had previously discussed moving to Canada 'because he liked hillwalking and she liked hot weather'. She got a bit annoyed with me when I tried to explain.

 :o

Bwahahahah!  :o :o :o
I don't know what part  of Canada she was planning on moving to, but it is currently -33C with a wind chill of -45C in little part of Canada. If she knows of somewhere in Canada that is hot, then for the sake of my frosty toes, (and all the rest of my body parts) please share!  ;D ;D
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katycoo

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1256 on: December 07, 2013, 03:07:29 AM »
It is very common for Indonesians to use only one name. Which leads to Western newspaper stories about "General XYZ (who uses only one name)" or "Suharto (who used only one name)." In a previous job, I worked with a one-named man from southern India; for dealing with western publications and official paperwork, he used "L. Lastname," where Lastname was his given name and he was just repeating the initial, and signed everything with a nickname based on that.

My friend married an Indonesian who has only one name.  He duplicates it in full on Australian paperwork.  She took his name as her surname as well.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1257 on: December 07, 2013, 03:25:07 AM »
When I was at university there were a couple of students where he was FirstName Father'sLastName and she was FirstName Mother'sLastName. I remember them as being from one of the Nordic countries but it was a long time ago and that may be wrong. Certainly they said that was normal for their culture, and that it was taking the university some time to comprehend that John Smith and Mary Jones were twins. it didn't help, or maybe it did, that while obviously they weren't identical twins, physically they were very much alike.

cicero

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1258 on: December 07, 2013, 03:54:14 AM »
I remember one from when I was in junior high, so about 14 years old. We lived in a small Midwestern town. Quite a lot of things that seem mundane or obvious to me now were exotic back then. There was a foreign exchange student at the high school--from Sweden, I think--and she came to talk to us one day. We had no clue what Sweden was like! We probably couldn't find it on the map. If we thought anything about it, we probably thought it was really cold all the time, and had Vikings still. At one point she got a bit fed up with our inane questions and when someone asked, "Do you have jeans in Sweden?" she answered sarcastically, "No, we go around naked!"  >:D

It was actually quite enlightening for me, because I had never before considered that people in "foreign countries" often did things the same way we did in the US. In our classes there wasn't a big emphasis on current events, just history (plus all the "contemporary resources" were at least 20 years out of date), and when we did learn about something contemporary in another country, the "differentness" seemed to be the point. Like, "Look at the modern hunter-gatherers in Africa! Isn't it interesting how different cultures do things differently?" So you end up thinking everyone in Africa is a hunter-gatherer. Personally I always liked history/geography/culture, so additional study helped dispel some of those assumptions, but not everyone is interested in that.
I was born in the US and when I was ten ( in 1970) my family moved to israel. Each of my parents had been to israel once before we moved but us kids hadn't. They come back with souvenirs of little wooden camels and photos of desert and lots of ancient stones and Churches. *all* I knew about israel was what l learned in school - biblical stories. So while I hadn't completely understood what it was like, I was sort of expecting to see more camels and tents... Granted, in 1970 israel was still pretty behind in modernization, but we lived in a normal house with indoor plumbing and had a car

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cabbageweevil

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1259 on: December 07, 2013, 04:02:55 AM »
Since Australian animals are currently on-topic . . .

I saw a TV commercial this evening for some smart phone, with a couple of guys talking about a shrink ray. One guy said it would be cool to shrink a bandicoot.  Then they all admitted they didn't know what a bandicoot is.

Hey, idiots -- you're standing there with smart phones.  Google it.

Actually, the people that need to be told this are the people who came up with the commercial and the company that's paying to air it.  It's not a great endorsement for the product.

I can't resist chiming in, being a great fan of bandicoots -- IMO delightful animals -- kind of mini-kangaroos / marsupial rabbit-equivalents.

Something I recently learnt, to my considerable surprise: there's an Asian animal which also has that name: the bandicoot rat or mole-rat, a type of large rat found in southern India and Sri Lanka. The name comes from the Telugu language: pandi-kokku, meaning "pig-rat" -- which the British in India corrupted to "bandicoot".  When British explorers and colonists reached Australia, they found local animals which reminded them of the Indian creature, so applied the name "bandicoot" to them. It sounds as though it ought to be an Australian Aboriginal word, but in fact isn't !

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