Thursday, August 16, 2007

“@! Clean your room!”

We recently wrote about a New Zealand couple wanting to name their baby “4Real.” It seems a Chinese couple is trying to one up them with the baby name “@,” pronounced “ai-ta.”

According to Reuters News, the parents said the Chinese translation of the common e-mail symbol is “love him,” a sentiment obviously felt for their child.

The Chinese language has no alphabet but instead uses thousands of complex characters to represent words. Nonetheless, “@” is an extreme example of people’s new exploratory approach to the language according to the State Language Commission deputy chief.

While we don’t think “@,” “&” or “#” will be added to the Nymbler database anytime soon, this naming conundrum is still quite interesting. In a society where language is represented by characters, is “@” pushing the limits too far?

And what would the American equivalent be? Pronouns? Product names? Phonetic spellings? While this could lead to some strange names, maybe that's part of the beauty of America - you can name your baby whatever you wish.

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