GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1998-05 > 0895802216
From: Leo van de Pas< >
Subject: Re: The spelling of names
Date: 21 May 1998 18:56:56 -0700
John Steele Gordon remarked:
>So an Italian dog should be referred to as a "cane" then, and not as "dog"
>speakers of English are discussing it?
I have tried to stay out of "the spelling of names" but this is such rubbish.
If the dogs name is 'cane', yes, then that is how he should be addressed.
I am sure John Steele Gordon wants to be addressed as John Steele Gordon,
not as Homo Sapiens, person, human being, or whatever.
Another famous altered naming, of course, is Charles/Carolus/Karl who
was made the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. I would never refer
to him other than Charlemagne. Some people have 'earned' a name in history,
other than what they themselves used, like Charlemagne and William
the Conqueror. However, in all rules there are exceptions, let people like
Charlemagne be the exception, but other, more obscure people, should be
given their proper name.
And here John Steele Gordon goes again :
>Excuse me, your anglophobia is showing. French tourists who don't happen
>flawless English invariably call the big city at the south end of Lake
>shee-ka-GOH. That's the pronunciation of the French word for the place. Few
>run out of town on account of it. They also call Louisiana's largest city
>Orleans. Shouldn't they call it New Orleans, or, if the local patois is the
>standard, Norlins? Or perhaps because Frenchmen founded the city, they have
>unto eternity to name it, not those wretched Anglos who bought and paid for
...............I had the feeling that genealogy was mainly written, not oral.
Mis-pronounciations occur everywhere, so what, perhaps you may not know who
who Mrs. Carwell was, but that was Louise de Kerouaille as she was called
by the Francophobians in England.
>You would never say that all Jews are conniving, or all blacks lazy or all
>drunks. Why do you generalize that all Anglo-Saxons willfully mispronounce
>words? Because you're a bigot. Think about it.
........John Steele Gordon, why throw in emotional words like bigot?
Do you flawlessly speak another language? I almost do. What you don't
seem to realise is that your vocal cords are shaped with the language
you grow up with. And mostly only children are able (many exceptions)
to learn flawlessly to pronounce other languages, because their vocal
cords are not set. If an adult learns another language, most of the time
they have an accent and will never loose it.
>In Nicaragua many years ago, I heard a German tourist, trying to get his
>shout at the mechanic "Es kaputo! No comprene?" No, the mechanic didn't
comprene, as a
>matter of fact. Another ugly American, I suppose.
.........This sample is tosh, too.
>> > But why should native speakers of the Italian Language dictate to
>> > speakers of English, what word to use to express a thought in the
>> > English language? Would you expect Italians to correctly pronounce
>> > Narragansett or Sheboygan or Arkansas, with its curious silent S?
..........John Steele Gordon, if you say 'yes', then I loose all respect
for you. By the way a while ago I queried your link to Pocahontas, you
>He is not renaming it. He is coining a word in his own language to denote
it so he can
>express a thought in his own language regarding it. It is WORDS we are
>here, not places. There is no difference between "dog," "Turin," "cane,"
>except they are words in different languages.
............Again, are we speaking about speaking genealogy? Or writing it?
I have no objection to discuss verbally Turin, as long as it is written
Torino, Florence (Yuck) as long as it is written Firenze.
>And, while you are at it. What, in your lexicon, is the correct name for
the capital of
>Belgium? The French-speaking Belgians say it's Bruxelles, the
Flemish-speaking ones say
>it's Brussel. If you speak English, there's no problem. if you choose
>and Flemish, you take sides. For a tourist, taking sides could get, ah, ugly.
.........John Steele Gordon, what has tourism got to do with genealogy?
>Well, the French is actually Guillaume le Conque'rant not le Vainqueur, a
>you just misspelled and hence violated your own principle of being all
knowing in all
...........Why these personal attacks? Do they help? I think William the
Conqueror has "earned" his name in the English speaking world and he is
one of the exceptions. Do you refer to Dorothy Kappelhoff? Or the name
she is famous by?
> I don't think it's incredibly purist to refer to him as he
>> would have referred to himself : within reason. If the English language
>> does not have the letters, accents etc to give a historical character his
>> correct name, obviously one must improvise. But if there is no impediment
>> to recording him as Guillaume, what is the problem?
>The problem is that Guillaume is not an English word and people who don't
>don't know how to pronounce it.
..........What has writing got to do with pronouncing a name? Are you making
a distinction between foreign names you can or cannot pronounce? I write Joao
but don't know how to pronounce it. My (and your) ignorance should not
deprive someone of his/her rightful name.
>And, for your information, William the Conqueror actually took English
lessons in an
>attempt to learn the language (he was a politician, remember, and a damn
good one). So
>you have no authority, beyond that conferred by your bigotry, to say he
>John Steele Gordon
........Dear John Steele Gordon, English (or Australian) is my second
language, so you may know more than I do. I believe that the English
spoken today is a living language, with Anglo-Saxon, Danish and then,
when William came, Norman-French was added to it. I guess that if
you were able to go to the times of William the Conqueror, you would
be almost unable to communicate with the people in the street.
Yes, William the Conqueror is great because of what happened AFTER him,
he started something----but had Harold not rushed from one victory
to his defeat at Hastings and had been fully rested and prepared,
William the Conqueror may well have been a footnote in history.
Leo van de Pas
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