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The language of names av Justin Kaplan

The language of names (utgåvan 1997)

av Justin Kaplan, Anne Bernays

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1453150,849 (3.18)3
#Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.
Titel:The language of names
Författare:Justin Kaplan
Andra författare:Anne Bernays
Info:New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, c1997.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


The Language of Names: What We Call Ourselves and Why It Matters av Justin Kaplan


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The focus of The Language of Names is far narrower than the rather grandiose title suggests, though a careful reading of the back cover copy (which mentions "contemporary society") would reveal its limitations. There are a lot of interesting questions about names to be explored: that no culture has ever been encountered that doesn't use them (and indeed, there are indications that some species of whales and dolphins use some form of individual identifiers); the development of last names rather than patronymics or ad-hoc identifiers based on occupation or location; the wide variation in the number of names available in different cultures (we all know that most Koreans are named Kim, Park, or Lee, but why?); and other anthropological questions. Unfortunately, this book answers none of those questions.

Instead, it explores a set of situations rather narrowly confined to modern American naming practices -- immigrants Anglicizing their names (though no discussion of how and why this has fallen out of favor in the last century), celebrities changing theirs, and the deep ire with which many men view the apparently shocking practice of women choosing not to change their names upon marriage. Overall, the book read like a somewhat padded magazine article -- an okay way to pass the time, but not worth seeking out. ( )
3 rösta lorax | Jul 28, 2011 |
See, now, this could have been a pretty good book. It had a lot of interesting chapters, even if they tended to skim the surface of what initially promised to be a rather fascinating subject. But it's a BIG subject, and the book is relatively short, so you know...one shouldn't expect too much. It's interesting to read about names and social structures...and names and their mystical power...character names in literature. All that was cool, and I was enjoying it. But then, dear me, they got to the chapter on (whisper it) MAIDEN names.

Holy crap, what is up with Anne Bernays? Apparently, if you give up your maiden name and take your husband's name YOU HAVE TOTALLY GIVEN IT TO THE MAN, you silly oppressed boot-licker, you. Um, is it just me? Or did it escape Darling Anne's notice that a maiden name is actually the name of the woman's FATHER? And that there isn't a whole lot of difference (oppression-wise) between carrying your daddy's name or your sweetie's name? Apparently, for Anne, the very notion of taking Justin's last name was an agonizing blow to her WHOLE IDENTITY(which must be very loosely anchored indeed).

WhatEVER. The rest of the book was not insanely ideological. I guess she needed to blow off steam somewhere. Maybe Justin is a big pain in the neck and never washes the dishes and drops his dirty underwear on the floor.
2 rösta 2chances | Oct 14, 2009 |
Interesting but not overwhelming; perhaps the examples rolled on beyond what was necessary and kept going beyond what was tolerable; the sub-title conveys that "what we call ourselves" matters and that point is made; however then it's made again and again with a lot of subtle political agenda along the way. Summary: presents some novel message, but definitely not a must-read. ( )
  jpsnow | Apr 13, 2008 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Kaplan, Justinprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bernays, Annehuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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