Sunday, February 03, 2008

Choose Names Wisely!

What's in a name? How does your choice of names affect you? In every possible way you may think of! Of course, just how severely one can be affected by one's choice of names varies greatly, mostly depending on the nature of objects/subjects named (whether they are people, inanimate objects, organizations, etc.), the culture of the place and the possible interpretations by different people.

This post is not going to deal with the "how-to" of choosing good names, whether they are for your future children or website (hint, hint!), rather I am trying to highlight the possibly highly embarrassing situation you may find yourself in if you do not heed the advice of the old and wise. Consider the following conversation between husband and wife:

Husband: We must choose a good name for our baby. According to my father, a name will make or break you.
Wife.......: Is that why you are named Sukhdeep and so many guys are looking for you?

Note: Blatantly copied from Russell Peters' stand-up joke and adapted to fit this post. Visit his blog at

Right, we all understand just how bad names will affect us for a lifetime, don't we? In that case, let us not ponder further on that case and move on. On a less serious note, where could bad naming of other inanimate objects (web domains, car names, organizations, etc.) be found? You'll be surprised! Visit the two following links, to look at some hilarious mistakes people make when choosing their website names (kindly read their rich comments too!):
I believe the 2 posts are rather old posts, but I figure I should share the good stuffs and laugh here. That's not all though, I have my own experience regarding bad naming too (at least I think it is bad, and no, my name is not Sukhdeep or Hardik!). Below is a picture of the signboard of a cyber cafe, I am not sure though whether it is deliberately named as such (probably to attract attention, to create brand name awareness? I must say that it would have been quite successful at that). You may not get the joke immediately, unless you are a Malaysian Chinese, who speaks cantonese dialect.
Well, even if you are, you still have to upgrade your imagination a little, pronounce the 'c' as 's' in English language and you probably would catch the joke! Indeed, a 'c' sound varies when it is used in different context in English language and the pronounciation of 'c' if it is in Cyrillic script would roughly translate to the English sound 's' too.

The literal translation from cantonese of 'laisimau' would be
diarrhoeic cat. The adjective 'diarrhoeic' is used as a derogatory remark by Kal Penn in National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, where his character's last name "Badalandabad" is also a play of word in Hindi, though I would not speculate more on its meaning (if you insist to know, check the link I provided which links to Wikipedia!).

I guess it is safe to assume here that after all this, we will pay more attention when we try to name someone or something, won't we? Now, this we do us all good, and if you are unfortunate enough to make a silly mistake in naming, gladly laugh it off and move on :)

I am afraid that after presenting all the good stuff, we are near the end now. I realise that I could hardly keep to my original topic whenever I blog and I tend to weave out of the topic (hopefully) at the end of post. Probably I am still new to this trade? Kindly tell me what you think of my style, whether you prefer me to keep it this way or I must indeed improve on my skills. Comments are most appreciated.

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sily said...

interesting...a people on who I'm dating .he's good at it

BobbyT said...

I'm sorry, I don't understand anything beyond the word interesting. But thanks for commenting anyway.

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