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On Mon, Jun 04, 2001 at 11:06:04AM +0100, Vincent Campbell wrote:
> Interesting stuff,
> Here's a good example, I expect, of the weird ways the media do have an
> impact. In the UK, celebrities with unusual names, or popular soap
> characters have an impact on names. A good example would be 'Courtney', the
> name given to the baby of Grant and Tiffany Mitchell- characters in
> 'Eastenders'. I don't remember where it came in the lists, but I remember
> newspaper reports saying it had moved up significantly.
And where did the Mitchells get the name from? Courtney Cox seems a
likely candidate. Another UK soap, The Archers, had a mildly amusing
theme around 10 years ago when a working class baby was named Kylie,
after the soap actor turned singer. The Archers covers a cross-section,
class-wise, and the reaction of the middle classes was basically "oh
my god!" I think that's an accurate reflection of social reality in
> Religion, ethnicity and nationalism have a role in name choice also, I
> expect. Very interesting to hear that Danes often give their kids English
> names. Of course, there's been a trend in the US for African-Americans to
> develop variations, and new names to avoid their slave names. In Scotland,
> some like to make a point of spelling their names the gaelic way (even when
> it's not a gaelic name in the first place), and so on. Pagans try and avoid
> biblical names, and so on.
Do you have any examples of non-gaelic names spelt gaelic-style?
> Like you say, possible memetic subject there. Perhaps studying the trend
> for new names amongst African-Americans would be a good way in to finding
> their origins, rates of spreading, and mutation on the way. I bet someone's
> done this somewhere.
Probably. It seems rather an obvious research topic (though so do many,
in retrospect). But I wonder what, specifically, a memetic perspective
would add to any study of naming trends?
-- Robin Faichney Get your Meta-Information from http://www.ii01.org (CAUTION: contains philosophy, may cause heads to spin)
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