misery and despair?
Surely you mean misery and repair?
Belgian authorities have decided that it is not a particularly bright idea for a Mr and Mrs Renault to name their daughter Megane, Pravda reports. Quite where Pravda got wind of this insanity we know not, but psychologists apparently intervened to prevent the Renaults' offspring from suffering a lifetime of misery and despair …
It's not that odd that cars get girls names, and not at all odd that car brands carry the (Family) name of the founder. What about Ford, Rolls-Royce, Porsche, Ferrari, Morris etc..?
Mégane is a (french) girls name. If this couple come from the french-speaking part of Belgium then it would be quite plausible that they are calling their daughter after say...a relative.
It does happen that people share their lastname with famous products and cars.
What about : Minnie Morris?
Surely if Renault is an at all common surname there will be people out there called Megan Renault who predate the Megane and are forced to suffer "a lifetime of misery and despair".
More to the point, what about the unsuspecting people who buy Renaults and are foced to suffer a lifetime (of the vehicle) of misery and despair. (just kidding by the way - I own a Megane and I am mostly happy with it)
... and the names of abandoned children can be amazing.
I think the saddest example is a little girl whose mother agreed to terminate rights when the child was born. She was given some paperwork to confirm the birth of her child and it was noted that the child was "Female" along with the length/weight/etc.
The mother interpreted this as the name the dept of social services had selected for the child, and agreed with this selection by choosing to write "Female" as the childs name.
People now pronounce the girls name like "Tamale" with an "F."
I've also heard of children named things like "Onesa, Twosa and Threesa"
Apparently the parents never heard the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue."
That word has left in belgium a nasty taste. In 1997, they closed a plant and around 4000 people got fired (Renault plant workers and suppliers and subcontractors).
I remember that Renault and the megane in particular got written off as the devil itself:
The announcement in February 1997 by French car maker Renault, of the closure of its Belgian plant has generated an unprecedented storm of protest and raised questions over the ability of European legislation to prevent multinational companies from enforcing economically motivated decisions on the location of production, without prior workforce consultation. It has also generated a much-needed debate on the use of Structural Fund resources in the relocation of business activities to areas of lower labour costs.
How could they not remember: Renault = devil = Megane = spawn of devil
*shaking fist wildly in the air*
It's a name of a car, in case you hadn't guessed by now. I know in the UK you can do whatever psychological damage you like to your kids by calling them Mike Hunt and so on. However, in Belgium your generally expected to use names already in existence.
A Wallonian may use a Flemish name and visa versa, if they want but nothing like 4real etc. I think the commune (local council) is allowed some discretion, but that's basically how it works.
Seemed strange to me at first, but most people are happy with the way it works and if it stops some poor kid being called Shrek, then it's OK by me!
Belgium is normally all about breaking rules and Mégane is far from being extreme. Reckon this might be more of a myth. In Germany the authorities frequently do intervene. :-(
I was in the Netherlands at the weekend and there was a girl running around in a t-shirt that said "Ik ben Feline", ie. "I am feline". The Dutch love giving their kids slightly weird or trendy names.
"Given that the birth years of my three children have coincided with a major release of windows (1995, 1998, 2000), I had thought that suitable tribute names would be "Apple", "Linux", and "Google".
"Sadly, my wife was having none of it."
I know the feeling.
When we were expecting, I mentioned to She Who Must be Obeyed that, if the sprout was a boy, I thought that "Nicholas Richard" flowed well and might make a good name.
Unfortunately, she thought about it for a moment (she knows me too well, it appears) and replied that there was no way that we would have a son named "Nick Dick Moyle" (The Jewish readers just blorted coffee on their monitors, I expect. Sorry.)
for some girls to choose a nice sounding english name to help them generally interact with folks from the west. The most popular were the names of flowers (i.e rose, etc.). However I did once meet one poor girl who had just chosen the lovely sounding "Chlemydia" for her english name.
I didn't have the heart to tell her.
I’m not quite sure, as I Belgian civil registers are very liberal with respect of registering babies with strange names:
This reads: “Belgians give baby the name Rolex”
As you can read (if you understand Dutch), in Belgium names like Dijamant (Diamond) and Bahrain (the country)... and there is even a Chukwunonyelum (it’s as difficult to spell in Vlaams/Dutch or French as it is in English).
<i>Mégane</i> with and w/o accent is a surname and also a word in Japanese (dunno what it means). Thus Mégane is in no way a name worst than Rolex and it sounds a lot like Megan, a perfectly normal name.
To quote the indubitable Wikipedia on the origins of the car name Mercedes: "An automobile dealer and racing enthuiast, Jellinek had been racing DMG automobiles on which he had the name—Mércédès—painted for good luck after his daughter, Mércédès Jellinek."
Somehow Mercedes Jellinek doesn't sound so swish...
I’m not saying the names are not stupid, but do we really think governments getting involved in this stuff is a good idea? Who cares what they name their kid... I cannot believe people are not more upset about the government imposing its own standard on these people.
@ Ian Watkinson; in France one often renders the family name first (and indeed in all caps) thus "RENAULT Megane".
There's a number of groups on Facebook of the type "If 100,000 people join, my [S.O.] will let me name my [child] [debilitating name]". Spiderman and Spiderpig appear to have passed the threshold of sanity, if one is to believe the groups' creators.
as it's not originally French. She was the Muse of History. All Greek to me.
However, the point of the Pravda story is this. The Russians want to draw attention to the fact that it is not only in Lithuania that there are ethno-cultural divisions, but also in the middle of the EU in a little country like Belgium, where the French part hate the Flemish part and vice versa. If the story is true it would be because of some such tribal mentality by some beaurocrat somewhere.
The Limies probably won't be too surprised:
Ima Hogg (1882-1975), philanthropist and patron of the arts, daughter of Sarah Ann (Stinson) and Governor James Stephen Hogg, was born in Mineola, Texas, on July 10, 1882. She had three brothers, William Clifford Hogg, born in 1875; Michael, born in 1885; and Thomas Elisha Hogg, born in 1887. Ima was named for the heroine of a Civil War poem written by her uncle Thomas Elisha and was affectionately known as Miss Ima for most of her long life...
actually, there was a guy near where i lived not so long ago whose name was indeed "Richard Head," and he insisted on being called...you guessed it.
perhaps it was a point of pride, he was a right bastard. or he was a closet masochist.
also knew a "Justin Case" for awhile, and yes, he'd heard that one before.
thanks to Matt for clearing up the confusion for us yanks. never heard of the Renault Megane before now.
Name seemed perfectly normal to me (grew up in south asia, now living in canada).
Even if the name is the name of a car, it hardly sounds comparable to something like "4real". Are Belgian's really that touchy about car names? If my parents were Mr and Mrs Diablo, I certainly wouldn't mind my first name being Lambourghini (no I don't know how to spell that correctly, sorry).
The pub landlady called Mary Christmas,
Years ago there was a fake entry in the yellow pages of 'Wong Number'.
One of my old friends sister was goes to be called Apple second name Orchard, called Gyilian in the end.
The sisters April, May, June, and the brother Devlin (dev from devcember Russia ?)
I kewn a guy at University called Christopher Moss, fairly ordinary type of chap, quite religious, and actually enjoyed the "Hahahaha, happy Chris Moss", type gibes. Well, at least they aren't really going to get too offensive, unlike my ex's father Mickey Hunt. (Yes, I know it's been done before, but it's true, and he was).
I don't think it ever really bothered him until he joined the Catholic preisthood in fact, thus becomign "Father Chris Moss".
You'd think he would have seen it coming.
The Officer of Civil Status refused the name "Mégane" (which is a perfectly valid girl's first name in any French speaking country), due to the fact that the family name was Renault (or Renaud). This happened in the late 90's IIRC.
French law (and I guess Belgian law also) allows the state to refuse to register any name that could cause the child prejudice in the future...
Thank god that this is not in America, where the parents would have probably sued car maker - even if the car was one of the most sold cars on the market for the last 8 years...
The universe may not be infinte, but human stupidity probably is...
I think it's about time all these goverments get their noses out of the citizens business. Ifr someone wishes to name their child "Fuck you" that should be their right ( Wish I had been named that LOL ) Can you imagine the local constable asking your name and standing before the Beak as you brits call him telling him Fyck you when asked your name?
We have a clown on this side of the pond that legeally changed his name to "Trout fishing in America" Just no telling what folks will do or what they want to do. The point is they are all free sovergin citizens of the planet and no goverment should have dominion over the naming of their children
The Randy randolf stunt is very common when you have american researcher presenting their work :)
Comitee member : I have the great pleasure of introducing Randolf ... ... ... ...
Randolf : Hi, I am randy. I am going to ... * stops talking -- enlish audience red and respectfully laughing *
This is a good way to proceed though, as you can be sure that none of the brits are going to ask any question, fearing to burst in the middle of it. A great trick if you have a bit sub par work, condidering that brits' questions are often more precise and harder to escape.
"What about : Minnie Morris?"
Only funny if she has an older sister and they both attend the same public school...
(for those who haven't worked it out: Morris minor)
Buffy fans should remember one of the crew was called Thomas Wanker. Turns out the USians mangled the surname Wanamaker generations ago and we were obviously too annoyed with the colonials breaking away to point it out.
I knew a married woman whose first name was Winter. Very pretty (ambiguity intended). Then I found out her maiden name was Snow...
Used to provide web services for a bloke called Joe Kerr...
Oh, and Méganes are crap. Especially the automatic Scénic versions.
Why should legislators decide what I call my kid? The world has become a global village, we are all more exposed to other cultures and ideas, and that ought to be reflected in our world society. If I decide my child should be named after an ancient Chinese sage (eg. Confucius), a Bible character (Hosea), or a famous musician (Symbol), what of it?
I myself have an unusual name, I have only met two others, and I pretty much revel in it. Better still, I would have loved to have been called "Moonunit" or "Solarflare", but not "Frodo" or "Stinkbomb".
But then there's could be www.changeyourname.com to the rescue!
When I was working for a Microsoft Outsourced partner, a guy called in 'cos his server wouldn't register. His name kept on being rejected by the MS servers ... it was a banned word. I won't say it here ... i might get banned meself.
Finally, I know two brothers, one called Wayne King and the other called Bourne King. hmmmm. bet that generated laughs at school. they both have the reputation of having turned out normal balanced individuals. i guess they took it on the chin, and the experience just might have been character building.
where will all the nanny legislation take us?
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