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Looking @ baby names in China


Baby names in ChinaWill the terminology that's been coined through the advent of the Internet create a whole new generation of children's names? According to a recent story by Reuters, some parents think this is a great idea: "Couple in China tries to name baby '@'."

Here's a snippet from the story:

While the "@" symbol is familiar to Chinese e-mail users, they often use the English word "at" to sound it out -- which with a drawn out "T" sounds something like "ai ta," or "love him," to Mandarin speakers.

Besides the sentiment being sweet, using the @ symbol as a name would almost make sense in Chinese, which has no alphabet and instead uses multistroke characters to represent words.

However, deputy chief of the State Language Commission Li Yuming believes that "the [@] name was an extreme example of people's increasingly adventurous approach to Chinese, as commercialization and the Internet break down conventions."

Li did not say if officials accepted the "@" name. But earlier this year the government announced a ban on names using Arabic numerals, foreign languages, and symbols that do not belong to Chinese minority languages.

Believe me, there are plenty of times when I've wanted to call my own child ! or even @%#$&. But when should we, as parents, draw the line? Under the circumstances highlighted in this story, do you think that the Chinese couple should be allowed to name their son @ -- as in "Ai ta, boy"?

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

4 comments
dawei2005
dawei2005

Hmmm, i think tech era is pushing things beyond. Creativity and the right to call your baby a name of your choice is granted but to name a baby '@'is surely going far.

Chilly Willy the First
Chilly Willy the First

With all of the names that are now "hoisted" on poor little kid's these day's I'm not surprised to see this story. You have parent's taking a name and spelling it backwards to show how special their child is, that is, until he or she gets to school and all of the other kid's make fun of them. Then of course the parent will have to sue the school district, the state and anyone else they can think of (free meal ticket) for subjecting their poor little one to ridicule. The "Rock Star??" Prince started this. :(

Naegling
Naegling

...that the Chinese government cares what people name their kids, when they don't care about exporting human hair soy sauce? There's a priority issue here...

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

The US fed govt doesn't have laws that say there can be NO insect parts in chocolate, instead there is a limit as to HOW MANY insect parts can be in a given gram of chocolate. Both insect parts and human hair in food are disgusting but won't kill you. You should be more worried about toxic additives that show up in foods because of lax enforcement and lack of standards by the Chinese govt. Their farmed shrimp and carp are laced with toxic antibiotics banned here just for one example. I picked up some Ya pears from China at the 99cent store. Lovely, packed in foam 'sock', they looked perfect. They also smelled and tasted like gasoline, I had to thro them out. Probably banned or excessive pesticides. They also use formaldehyde which is toxic carcinogen as an illegal additive to preserve fish (not just China but other developing asian countries).

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