The Trentonian's Strange But True Page

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Their other kid is named %

BEIJING (AP) - A Chinese couple seeking a distinctive and modern name for their child chose the commonly used Internet symbol '@' or 'at,' much to the consternation of Chinese officials.
The unidentified couple and the attempted naming were cited Thursday by a Chinese government official as an example of bizarre names creeping into the Chinese language.
The father "said 'the whole world uses it to write e-mails and translated into Chinese it means 'love him,'"' Li Yuming, the vice director of the State Language Commission, said at a news conference.
The symbol '@' pronounced in English as 'at' sounds like the Chinese phrase "love him."
Written Chinese does not use an alphabet but is comprised of characters, sometimes making it difficult to develop new words for new or foreign things and ideas.
Li did not say whether police, who are the arbiters of names because they issue identity cards, rejected baby '@' and the others. But nationwide last year there were 60 million people's names that used "unfamiliar characters," Li said.


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