Author Topic: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People  (Read 294211 times)

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MariaE

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1305 on: December 10, 2013, 02:38:55 AM »
Ereine, iridaceae: thanks for the thoughts.  My impression (based on no deep knowledge) about Scandinavian countries and languages, is that names ending in -a are more likely to be female there, than male: but I could be making an "interesting assumption".

"More likely" is true - at least for Denmark. I know of one traditional Danish male name that ends with an 'a'. But at least one exists, and there may be even more in the other Scandinavian countries. So I'd agree to "more likely" but not "solely". :)
 
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bloo

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1306 on: December 10, 2013, 09:43:20 AM »
Ereine, iridaceae: thanks for the thoughts.  My impression (based on no deep knowledge) about Scandinavian countries and languages, is that names ending in -a are more likely to be female there, than male: but I could be making an "interesting assumption".

"More likely" is true - at least for Denmark. I know of one traditional Danish male name that ends with an 'a'. But at least one exists, and there may be even more in the other Scandinavian countries. So I'd agree to "more likely" but not "solely". :)

"More likely" might also apply in Japan where it seems all female names end in '-ko'. Yoko, Mitsuko, etc. I know there may be other suffixes but I read of so many ending in 'ko' that it seems like they're all named '-ko'.

Virg

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1307 on: December 10, 2013, 09:51:51 AM »
bloo wrote:

"
"More likely" might also apply in Japan where it seems all female names end in '-ko'. Yoko, Mitsuko, etc. I know there may be other suffixes but I read of so many ending in 'ko' that it seems like they're all named '-ko'."

At least one not-ko that popped into my head (mostly because Westerners tend to find it difficult to picture as a female name) is Hideo.  You're right, though, that -ko is a lot like -a in America, where the vast majority of names ending that way are feminine.

Virg

Pen^2

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1308 on: December 10, 2013, 10:12:46 AM »
"More likely" might also apply in Japan where it seems all female names end in '-ko'. Yoko, Mitsuko, etc. I know there may be other suffixes but I read of so many ending in 'ko' that it seems like they're all named '-ko'.

Not all, but a lot, yes. The official numbers say it's at the end of about a third of all Japanese female names. It's just a common feminine suffix, like "-ette" in English. "-ko" is more common in Japanese than "-ette" in English, of course, but it's hardly ubiquitous. "-a" is another common feminine ending in English names, because in Latin (and possibly Greek, but I might be wrong here) it almost always denoted feminine gender for a noun. We don't have gendered nouns in English much anymore, though, except for things like boats and ships and sometimes countries.

"-ette" basically has connotations of small and dainty (originally "diminutive"), which was traditionally considered suitable for women, hence it's use in names. "-ko" means "small child", which is pretty similar. It's kanji 子 actually looks rather obviously like a small child with outstretched arms and a trianglely-shape for a head, which is kind of nice, because a lot of kanji are so abstracted or altered that you can't easily rely on them having a similarity to what they're supposed to represent.

Incidentally, "-taro" is a common male suffix in Japanese, and it can even be a whole name by itself. "Yamada Taro" is Japan's "John Smith". I know a few Kentaro, Jotaro, Shintaro, etc.

bloo

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1309 on: December 10, 2013, 10:38:05 AM »
"More likely" might also apply in Japan where it seems all female names end in '-ko'. Yoko, Mitsuko, etc. I know there may be other suffixes but I read of so many ending in 'ko' that it seems like they're all named '-ko'.

Not all, but a lot, yes. The official numbers say it's at the end of about a third of all Japanese female names. It's just a common feminine suffix, like "-ette" in English. "-ko" is more common in Japanese than "-ette" in English, of course, but it's hardly ubiquitous. "-a" is another common feminine ending in English names, because in Latin (and possibly Greek, but I might be wrong here) it almost always denoted feminine gender for a noun. We don't have gendered nouns in English much anymore, though, except for things like boats and ships and sometimes countries.

"-ette" basically has connotations of small and dainty (originally "diminutive"), which was traditionally considered suitable for women, hence it's use in names. "-ko" means "small child", which is pretty similar. It's kanji 子 actually looks rather obviously like a small child with outstretched arms and a trianglely-shape for a head, which is kind of nice, because a lot of kanji are so abstracted or altered that you can't easily rely on them having a similarity to what they're supposed to represent.

Incidentally, "-taro" is a common male suffix in Japanese, and it can even be a whole name by itself. "Yamada Taro" is Japan's "John Smith". I know a few Kentaro, Jotaro, Shintaro, etc.

Thanks to you and Virg for sharing information about this. I learned something today!

Lynn2000

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1310 on: December 10, 2013, 11:27:01 AM »
On the subject of both names, and things I at least thought were common knowledge--one semester it seemed like all our college student interns went by "aliases." I actually used/saw their full names a lot as I filled out their paperwork, dealt with timesheets, etc.. The one we called Jenny was officially Jennifer--okay, that's easy enough. Tina was really Christina. Jack was really John. That's the one that threw a lot of people, native English speakers I mean (I could hardly expect someone just recently come to the US to figure that one out).

A number of names that started as nicknames have become full-fledged names in their own right, like Jack and Molly (from Mary), such that people are now quite surprised to see them used as, in fact, nicknames and not given names. I don't feel like Jack/John is that odd, though--I knew about it long before the intern, and my cousin named his child John with the intention of calling him Jack (he's about 4).

My personal favorite is Liam from William, which I think is where Liam Neeson's name comes from. We have so many people named William in my family, and no one ever goes for the nickname Liam, which would clear up considerable confusion. ::)
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Pen^2

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1311 on: December 10, 2013, 12:08:51 PM »
On the subject of both names, and things I at least thought were common knowledge--one semester it seemed like all our college student interns went by "aliases." I actually used/saw their full names a lot as I filled out their paperwork, dealt with timesheets, etc.. The one we called Jenny was officially Jennifer--okay, that's easy enough. Tina was really Christina. Jack was really John. That's the one that threw a lot of people, native English speakers I mean (I could hardly expect someone just recently come to the US to figure that one out).

A number of names that started as nicknames have become full-fledged names in their own right, like Jack and Molly (from Mary), such that people are now quite surprised to see them used as, in fact, nicknames and not given names. I don't feel like Jack/John is that odd, though--I knew about it long before the intern, and my cousin named his child John with the intention of calling him Jack (he's about 4).

My personal favorite is Liam from William, which I think is where Liam Neeson's name comes from. We have so many people named William in my family, and no one ever goes for the nickname Liam, which would clear up considerable confusion. ::)

I've known two Jacks who were really John, and one Jake who was technically John also, in Australia. I didn't realise this was odd to native English speakers!

Lynn2000

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1312 on: December 10, 2013, 02:01:30 PM »
I've known two Jacks who were really John, and one Jake who was technically John also, in Australia. I didn't realise this was odd to native English speakers!

Yeah, I sometimes forget what is common knowledge and what isn't, because I like names so much. I would've understood if the "young" people didn't realize Jack originated as a nickname for John, but I was surprised that the "older" people didn't realize it either--I tend to think that most younger Jacks are really Jack, while most older Jacks were really Johns. On the other hand if you always knew someone as Jack for 70 years maybe it didn't occur to you to think there was anything behind it.

The Jake for John is interesting. I would've guessed Jacob but it's not that far off. In my family history research I find a lot of girls named Jenny, which I thought was weird because I didn't think Jennifer was that old/common of a name. Then I read somewhere that Jenny was a common nickname for Jane, Jean, Joan... basically any girls' name with a J and an N in it. Of course Jane, Jean, and Joan all derive from John anyway, so it was sort of the female equivalent of Johnny I guess.
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KenveeB

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1313 on: December 10, 2013, 02:31:36 PM »
Since we've had pages of it, maybe the name discussion could get a spin-off?

Pen^2

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1314 on: December 11, 2013, 07:32:39 AM »
I'm not sure if my expectations are too high with this one, but anyway...

I teach reading and phonics etc. and the number of parents who are unaware that teaching the sounds English letters make is important, useful, or even worthwhile. I've had a worryingly large number of kids come in who can name every letter on sight, but knows the sound of none of them, and whose parents insist that this is enough for the to read, so why aren't they??

One boy looked at the word "cat" and read it as "seeaytee". He added, "It must be a grown-up word, because I don't know what it means. A lot of words that get written down are grown-up words."

Is the notion that being aware that the letter B says a "b" sound (this is hard to type but you get my point) really entirely foreign? Most of the time, it's not just a case of the parent having not thought about it before. That's fine. It's more frequently a case of the parent vehemently arguing with me that I am not to teach their kids letter sounds because it's a waste of time, but I still must teach them to read phonetically somehow. I don't know if I'm being unreasonable here, but the parents who admit that their current way of teaching their kid has failed but still argue about how to teach phonics to a phonics teacher baffle me.

newbiePA

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1315 on: December 11, 2013, 08:30:53 AM »
I don't think you can blame parents completely for children not knowing how to pronounce words, even simple words.  I was an early/advanced reader, and would often come up with the way words should sound.  I would then be shocked/confused that word I knew in "my head" was the same as this other word "in my ear."

Two examples
interesting: when I read this word, I thought it was pronounced "nernishing"
lb.: when I read this, instead of thinking pound, I would pronounce it "liblets", and I thought it was strange that there were two words for pounds. 

Of course, this makes no excuse for the parents yelling at you
Not such a newbie anymore

cwm

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1316 on: December 11, 2013, 11:53:41 AM »
One of my friends at work retired recently.  His name was Douglas, but he always went by his middle name, which was Larry.  When it came time for the Big Boss to make a speech about Larry, he constantly referred to him as "Douglas".  It wouldn't have mattered, except that this boss tried to pass himself off as a pal of the retiree (he's one of those bosses who likes to think that he's everybody's friend).

Hee hee! I shouldn't laugh at this, but it's somewhat karmic. I had a woman once make a similar kind of speech about me, and although she went on and on about all the good times we'd had together (I barely knew her), she pronounced my surname a different way each and every time she said it over the ten minutes. Even the people who knew neither of us were made aware that she was making stuff up.

We got a new uncle in the family at a funeral. Uncle Larry. I can't remember who died, I think it was my great grandma, but for some reason the priest who really knew the family very well couldn't preside over the ceremony. So they had the priest who had just transfered to the diocese do it, which was perfectly fine with my family, as long as it was Catholic. But in listing the names of the surviving children, there was a line break in an awkward place. So all the names were listed as first name, middle name. Except this one. It went "Survived by Mary Elizabeth; Catherine Grace; John; Larry; Joseph Hancock; and Elaine Christine." Long, definite pauses. "Uncle Larry" still sends condolence cards and floral arrangements to any other family members when someone passes, and there's usually a few Christmas cards that go around from him. It's a fun family tradition.

In other news, I had to explain to my boyfriend that it didn't matter what the date on the bottle said, when his Tylenol smells like vinegar, it's gone bad and he has to throw it out. He kept arguing that the bottle said it should last for at least another year, that's what the expiration date was. I had to pull up some information on the internet about acetaminophen and how it broke down and then have him take a deep smell before he finally admitted that it might not be time to get rid of it.

Elfmama

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1317 on: December 11, 2013, 03:35:02 PM »

We got a new uncle in the family at a funeral. Uncle Larry. I can't remember who died, I think it was my great grandma, but for some reason the priest who really knew the family very well couldn't preside over the ceremony. So they had the priest who had just transfered to the diocese do it, which was perfectly fine with my family, as long as it was Catholic. But in listing the names of the surviving children, there was a line break in an awkward place. So all the names were listed as first name, middle name. Except this one. It went "Survived by Mary Elizabeth; Catherine Grace; John; Larry; Joseph Hancock; and Elaine Christine." Long, definite pauses. "Uncle Larry" still sends condolence cards and floral arrangements to any other family members when someone passes, and there's usually a few Christmas cards that go around from him. It's a fun family tradition.
I heard a radio commercial plugging Xmas gifts, where the announcer clearly ran across a seasonal word he'd never heard or seen before: "We may not have gold, frank, incense, or myrrh, but we have these other great gifts!"
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Carotte

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1318 on: December 11, 2013, 03:53:21 PM »


One boy looked at the word "cat" and read it as "seeaytee". He added, "It must be a grown-up word, because I don't know what it means. A lot of words that get written down are grown-up words."


I don't think  you're being unreasonable at all. I don't know how the parents expect their kids to link everything together (a printed word, the sound of the word and it's meaning) easily* without it. Why make it that much more difficult for them?

As for what I quoted from your post, on the other hand, this summer I was briefly with a 7 or 8 y/old from the UK who was spelling cat "kaa-ah-tee". That's how they teach them and ask them to, past first grade, to spell.
Now, she knew how to speel it "see-ay-tee" alright but she had multiple schools since first grade so it might comme from there.
I was pretty much like that  :o. How dumb do they think kids are that they don't try to teach both the name of the letter and it's sound?

Shalamar

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Re: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People
« Reply #1319 on: December 11, 2013, 03:55:44 PM »
I'm stunned by this, frankly.  It was one thing when my husband, as a small boy, thought "sugar" was pronounced "sooo-garr", because that's what the word looks like.  (As for me, I pronounced "monarch" to rhyme with "starch" when I was wee.)  This is taking things to a whole 'nother level.