aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Discuss word origins and meanings.

Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:09 pm

aaa
The following quote appeared in an article which was attempting to debunk the various theories that claim Shakespeare was not the author of his plays. The gist is, how could this lowly, untraveled man, son of an illiterate Stratford glove maker and having only a rudimentary education, write with such sophistication and detail of kings and the lives of the aristocracy. Also, many of his plays were set outside of England and Shakespeare purportedly had never travelled abroad.

The argument is that it had to be someone of a much higher station such as Edward deVere, the Earl of Oxford (the leading candidate) or Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe, . . . This article does a very good job of attacking these apparently bogus theories.

However, the makers of the new movie, Anonymous, probably thought that they would have a bigger moneymaker on their hands if they chose Shakespeare to be someone other than himself. Their choice was the leading candidate, the Earl of Oxford.
<2011 “The Oxford theory has been doing the rounds since 1920, when an English scholar, Thomas Looney (pronounced Loaney), first brought it before the world.”—Newsweek, 24 October, page 24>
How apt can a name get? Thomas Looney’s theory was considered . . . well, looney.

The above pronunciation maneuver is a common one for people with a name that is not to their liking or one that brings a chuckle to all who hear it. The pronunciation ‘Loaney’ is an example of the latter.

An example of the former is a cover-up for the name Levine, which is normally pronounced ‘Leh veen,’ accent on the second syllable. Those who opt for the different pronunciation, choose ‘Leh vine,’ with the accent still on the second syllable.

So why the change? What’s wrong with what seems to be a perfectly acceptable pronunciation? The answer is that Levine is a common Jewish name and some Jews would rather not have a Jewish sounding name. This is a vestige of Jewish persecution, especially during the pograms of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and, of course, the Holocaust. Many Jewish emigrants to the U.S. even went so far as to give false names (which they later kept for fear of discrimination in the U.S.) when they landed on Ellis Island.

On a more cheerful note, I wonder if Thomas Looney was a fan of Looney Tunes.
_____________________

Ken – November 1, 2011
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:49 am

Two further examples I can think of of what you implicitly termed a 'cover-up pronunciation', Ken, are John Boehner (currently the minority leader in the US House of Representatives), who pronounces his surname BAYnuh, and the well-known psychologist Julian Rotter (who once taught a class that my mother took). Rotter pronounces his surname ROATer.

I recall yet another instance from the brief time I was a tour leader of US high-school students who were visiting Europe with their teachers, allegedly for educational purposes. One of these teachers had wangled some freebie tickets for some friends of hers, a couple whose surname was Huddock (reminiscent of the codlike fish, the haddock).

However, no-one had informed me beforehand that this pair did not answer to Huddock. So when I addressed the husband and called Mr Huddock 'Mr Huddock', I was surprised to see the colour rise in his cheeks as he mustered his response. "HEWdock!", he snapped. "It's HEWdock!"
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:39 am

That's mustard his response.
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:54 am

That's an example of why I often relish yours, Edwin.
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by trolley » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:42 pm

The name of the seventh planet seems to have undergone a retrofit since I was in school. We were taught to pronounce it with a long "a" and the accent on the second syllable. When the teacher said it, there was always a slight, warning pause before the name and a steady glare afterwards as they watched for any hint of a snicker.
"Larkin, what can you tell the class about Uranus?"
....don't smile...don't smile....don't smile....
By the time my daughter was in school they had taken all the humour out of the question.
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:05 pm

I waver between the pronunciations 'urinous' and 'your anus'.
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:15 pm

That reminds me of when Ian Montgomery aired the question in the common room, "Does anyone know the plural of anus?" His lessons were as suspect as mine.
The immediate offering was, "Two nusses."
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:48 pm

trolley wrote:By the time my daughter was in school they had taken all the humour out of the question.
No more Larkin about, then. (Apart from your daughter.)
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:51 am

aaa
While driving home this evening, I was listening to an NPR interview with a National Weather Service meteorologist. He was discussing the use of the wind chill factor warnings and how in cold climates there should be ‘extreme cold’ warnings. The reasoning is, if the wind dies down the wind chill factor warnings are no longer broadcast. But, if it is 50 degrees below zero with no wind, it would make sense to still broadcast an extreme cold warning.

One of the more interesting things about this interview was the meteorologist’s last name, Gust!

But here's the rest of the story (as radio newsman Paul Harvey used to say). When the Gust’s were going to have their first child, who they knew from the sonogram was going to be a boy, Mr. Gust, looking for a distinguished first name, suggested Winston, to which his wife replied, “Augustus, have you really thought this thing through?
_______________________

Ken – November 10, 2011
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:10 am

.. turned on the TV just in time to see that Sir Simon Rattle was about to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra .. I wonder if he spits the dummy if they get it wrong ??

WoZ shaking it
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:26 am

Or maybe he shakes his tail warningly if they get it wrong. Or perhaps he just spits at the dummies in the Berlin Philharmonic.
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:51 am

.. PS: for those on the other side of the Pacific they may recognise that spit the pacifier doesn't, to my mind, have the same impact as spit the dummy ..

WoZ in nappies not diapers
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Wizard of Oz » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:18 am

.. was at an exhibition of Toulouse-Lautrec posters created around 1895 .. one was for a new bicycle chain and the sales rep was L.B. Spoke .. no doubt he sold bicycle wheels as well ..

WoZ getting on his bike
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:08 am

aaa
<2011 “Even as he prepares to run for the Senate in Arizona next year, Rep. Jeff Flake is taking an unusual position, especially for a Republican in an election year: He opposes an effort in Congress to save his constituents $1,000 or more in Social Security payroll taxes. . . . The fact that Flake, . . . opposes the payroll tax cut provides an opening for Democrats to level accusations of hypocrisy.”—Los Angeles Times (California), 8 December>
I would have liked it if his first name were Alan, but you can’t have your flake and need that too!
______________________

Ken – December 8, 2011
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Re: aptronym / aptonym / euonym / charactonym / label name

Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:08 am

aaa
Tonight, while minding my own business and calmly eating din-din and reading a magazine, I was flabbergasted when I happened to stumble upon that holy grail of aptonyms, the inappropriately named doctor. Never mind that it’s not the sought after spelling and duck of the children’s card game, but who cares about trivial details in a moment such as this?
<2011 "And in July Larry Kwak of M.D. Cancer Center and colleagues reported that in patients given an experimental vaccine against follicular lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, their cancer remained in remission almost twice as long, and counting.”—Newsweek, 19 December, page 39>
“Hello. Let me introduce myself. My name is Dr. Kwak and I’ll be the doctor performing your brain surgery today.”
_______________________

Ken – December 18, 2011
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