On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 11 18:21:48 EST 2003


--- Jenwa Hsung <jenwahsung at yahoo.com> wrote:
> --- Jon Noble <jon_p_noble at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > I always felt that people without middle names
> were
> > short changed by life, and was very jealous of a
> > friend who'd scored two middle names.
> 
> I don't know, I have no middle name and was always
> kind of proud of that -- it just seemed totally
> unnecessary.  I have two names, a given name made of
> two Chinese characters and a family name made of one
> Chinese character, and have always been quite
> satisfied.  It was kind of fun saying firmly to
> slightly bemused adults "Yes, I really have no
> middle
> name."
> 
> I also never changed my name, unless you count the
> spelling change from Jen-Hwa to Jenwa because when I
> was learning to write I decided I didn't need the
> extra bits and so a few years later we got it
> changed
> formally.  (At the same time, my brothers' names got
> changed from Jen-Yu and Jen-Wan to Jason and Justin,
> respectively.  They kept the Chinese alliterations
> as
> their middle names, but it had become clear that
> Jen-Yu and Jen-Wan were just a lot harder for the
> average Minnesotan to say than Jenwa had been.)
> 

This allows to at least pull this thread back to
science fiction, if not all the way to DWJ. Author
Cordwainer Smith also used another pseudonym which was
Forest C Bliss, this was based on what his real name
sounded like to Chinese speakers (which was something
like "forest of incandescent joy" - his real name
being something like Paul Linebarger iirc)

> I am as of yet single, and if I get married, I don't
> know if I'd change my name.  I like my last name
> (Hsung), even if it is basically impossible to
> pronounce in English because the sounds involved
> just
> don't translate very well.   It means bear in
> Chinese.
>  I like bears.  And well, Jenwa sounds rather silly
> paired with many other last names.  For example, my
> last SO's surname was Brown, and Jenwa Brown just
> seems somehow wrong.
> 

I don't know - Jenwa Brown sounds great to me

> Incidentally, my given name means "to make China
> great."  Which goes with my brothers' names, which
> mean "to make the universe great."  Strangely
> enough,
> my parents are much more laid back than giving us
> those names implies (thank goodness... no Asian
> Mother
> Syndrome here).
> 
> A couple friends of mine, when they got married,
> went
> with the pick a completely different last name
> option,
> and so now they are the Leung family, which means
> dragon in Chinese.  Pretty cool, I thought.
> 

Not sure - Dracula also means dragon doesn't it?


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