name regret

Nancy Friedman nancyf at WORDWORKING.COM
Sat Oct 15 14:35:47 UTC 2011

This story reminds me of an encounter I once had with a salesman. His
nametag identified him as "Noisex," which of course I first read as "No sex"
and which of course I asked him about. He cheerfully replied that he had
been born in Cuba; his mother had intended to name him Mois├ęs (Moses), but
hadn't known how to spell it.

I now see that Noisex (NoiseX?) is the name of a "power noise and industrial
music act" from Germany.



Word of the week:  Humble.

Nancy Friedman
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-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Newman [mailto:michael.newman at QC.CUNY.EDU]
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 9:45 AM
Subject: Re: name regret

I had a Dominican student once who told me that her name, Sdelimira,
"violates phonotactic constraints."  (It was supposed to have been
"Edelmira," which in Dominican spanish would be a homophonous spelling with
Sdelmira. She blamed the municipal clerk. )

Michael Newman
Associate Professor of Linguistics
Queens College/CUNY
michael.newman at

On Oct 14, 2011, at 6:32 PM, Ronald Butters wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ronald Butters <ronbutters at AOL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: name regret
> What percent regret the dorky name that they gave their children? (E.g.,
RONALD REAGAN JONES might cause his parents to have deep remorse for
inflicting such an uncool name on one who grew up to be a trendy professor
of literature at Yale.)
> On Oct 14, 2011, at 9:17 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> Seems like this should be "Namers' Remorse".
>> LH
>> On Oct 14, 2011, at 8:01 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>> Eight percent of U.S. parents regret the "cool" name they gave baby:
>>> JL
>>> --
>>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society -
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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