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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:01 pm 
Sanno
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Salmoneus wrote:
Those interested in politics may encounter the Ministry of the Chits, in the late 17th century.

Sounds like something out of Swift.

ETA: Seriously, one of them was named "Lord Godolphin"? HOW IS THAT NOT SATIRE?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:05 pm 
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linguoboy wrote:
Seriously, one of them was named "Lord Godolphin"? HOW IS THAT NOT SATIRE?

I just had to look this up. Apparently, it's Cornish.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:15 am 
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The Godolphins - connected to many of England's old political families - are best remembered today for their role in the creation of the modern racehorse; as a result, the world's top horseracing company, Godolphin Racing, is named after them.

I don't know what's particularly odd about "Godolphin". Lord Godolphin once replaced "Ford Grey the Earl of Tankerville (and Baron Grey of Warke)", who has a much sillier name and title.

But the name "the ministry of the chits" is indeed satirical.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:40 am 
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"go, dolphin!" is still quite silly as a name.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:11 pm 
Sanci
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Vijay wrote:
Yeah, the only chit I know of is the kind that comes from Hindi [t͡ʃɪˈʈʰːi] (and only in British English with RP).


I've heard this used as a brief note on a small piece of paper.

I think they were used as an acknowledgement for goods received or sold, like a receipt, which makes a ministry of chits less far fetched, if it was supposed to be in control of keeping records of government spending & such.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:10 am 
Smeric
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richard1631978 wrote:
Vijay wrote:
Yeah, the only chit I know of is the kind that comes from Hindi [t͡ʃɪˈʈʰːi] (and only in British English with RP).


I've heard this used as a brief note on a small piece of paper.

Exactly, that's the one that comes from Hindi. In Hindi (and some other Indo-Aryan languages, at least), it usually means 'letter' (as in snail mail).


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:52 am 
Sanno
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richard1631978 wrote:
Vijay wrote:
Yeah, the only chit I know of is the kind that comes from Hindi [t͡ʃɪˈʈʰːi] (and only in British English with RP).


I've heard this used as a brief note on a small piece of paper.

I think they were used as an acknowledgement for goods received or sold, like a receipt, which makes a ministry of chits less far fetched, if it was supposed to be in control of keeping records of government spending & such.


But no. "Ministry" here doesn't mean "department", it means the government as a whole. It's the equivalent of US "administration" - if you search Wikipedia for "May administration", for instance, you'll be redirected to "May ministry" - we're currently in the second May ministry.

The Ministry of the Chits was so called because all three its leaders were 'chits' - sassy young people. Well, not that youn in absolute terms - they were all in their thirties when they came to power. But they were a good decade younger than the people who were in control of the Ministry before and after them. so they probably seemed like youn upstarts.

[and Sidney Godolphin's name is usually stressed on the second syllable. I'd also like to remind the chuckling Americans that they are from a country whose recent Presidents have included the surnames "Clinton", "Bush" and "Trump". Not to mention, back in time, "Fillmore", "Johnson", "Harding", and "Johnson" again because you hadn't had enouh Johnson yet. And "Polk", "Coolidge" and "Truman". And, ridiculously, "Hoover". And first names have included "Grover", "Millard", "Calvin", "Herbert", "Quincy", "Franklin", "Rutherford", "Abraham", "Zachary", "Woodrow", "Franklin" (again!), "Bill", "Ronald", "Lyndon", "Ulysses"... and, heaven help us, "Dwight"...]



[FYI, "ministry" in the sense of "department" is out of fashion aain now. Only the MOD and MOJ retain the name; the others are just "departments" or the like]

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:15 pm 
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Salmoneus wrote:
[and Sidney Godolphin's name is usually stressed on the second syllable. I'd also like to remind the chuckling Americans that they are from a country whose recent Presidents have included the surnames "Clinton", "Bush" and "Trump". Not to mention, back in time, "Fillmore", "Johnson", "Harding", and "Johnson" again because you hadn't had enouh Johnson yet. And "Polk", "Coolidge" and "Truman". And, ridiculously, "Hoover". And first names have included "Grover", "Millard", "Calvin", "Herbert", "Quincy", "Franklin", "Rutherford", "Abraham", "Zachary", "Woodrow", "Franklin" (again!), "Bill", "Ronald", "Lyndon", "Ulysses"... and, heaven help us, "Dwight"...]

What I like best about this extremely proportionate response if about how it's free of any trace of defensiveness.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:17 pm 
Smeric
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Salmoneus wrote:
Sidney Godolphin's name is usually stressed on the second syllable.

sidNEYgodolphin :P

"Go, dolphin!" would be, too, though, if it were read out as one word.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Salmoneus wrote:
[and Sidney Godolphin's name is usually stressed on the second syllable. I'd also like to remind the chuckling Americans that they are from a country whose recent Presidents have included the surnames "Clinton", "Bush" and "Trump". Not to mention, back in time, "Fillmore", "Johnson", "Harding", and "Johnson" again because you hadn't had enouh Johnson yet. And "Polk", "Coolidge" and "Truman". And, ridiculously, "Hoover". And first names have included "Grover", "Millard", "Calvin", "Herbert", "Quincy", "Franklin", "Rutherford", "Abraham", "Zachary", "Woodrow", "Franklin" (again!), "Bill", "Ronald", "Lyndon", "Ulysses"... and, heaven help us, "Dwight"...]

Not to nitpick but Quincy was John Quincy Adams' middle name. ;) Also, I'm not sure what's supposed to be strange about Calvin, Herbert, Franklin, Abraham, Zachary, William, Ronald, or Ulysses: they're all pretty common names, or at least were at the time those particular presidents were born. And Johnson is such a common name that it's not terribly surprising we had two of them (who were unrelated, incidentally).

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:59 pm 
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I'm still trying to figure out what's so funny about "Clinton."


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:05 pm 
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I've seen a few people spelling it "clitnon" and "Clintoris".

My favorite surname is Bedmore.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Zaarin wrote:
Also, I'm not sure what's supposed to be strange about Calvin, Herbert, Franklin... Zachary... or Ulysses

They're just so ridiculous!
Quote:
Abraham

You might as well go around naming children "Yahweh" or "Christ"...
Quote:
William, Ronald

Ronald is a perfectly acceptable name, for a plumber, or a youth centre activities manager. It's just having a Head of State called Ron that's a bit hard to take seriously. Likewise with Bill ["William", though, is fine].
Quote:
And Johnson is such a common name that it's not terribly surprising we had two of them (who were unrelated, incidentally).

It kind of is, actually - even the 2nd most common name (in the US*) is still pretty rare. 1:163 Americans, apparently, have 'Johnson' as a surname, making it kind of weird that you've had two of them in a sample of only 44 people, particularly given that it's such a historically 'black' surname*. The most common American surname, for instance, is "Smith", and you've never had one of those. In fact, only four Presidents have held ANY of the 20 most common surnames, and two of them were Johnsons - of the 1 President since 1900 to have had a common surname, 100% have been Johnsons. Indeed, even beyond the long odds of this happenin by chance in fair elections, there's probably an active factor against it: America largely prefers to select its politicians from within its entrenched aristocracy, who typically don't share the same names as ordinary Americans.
[interestinly, the two Johnsons both rose to power unexpectedly through a sequence of strange circumstance; the other two common-namers, Taylor and Jackson, were both career soldiers, where low birth was less of an impediment than in politics.]

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:57 pm 
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Ronald is a perfectly acceptable name, for a plumber, or a youth centre activities manager. It's just having a Head of State called Ron that's a bit hard to take seriously. Likewise with Bill ["William", though, is fine].
Quote:
America largely prefers to select its politicians from within its entrenched aristocracy, who typically don't share the same names as ordinary Americans.

I'm not following. Is having a HoS with a commoner name/surname okay or not okay in a modern Western state after all?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:49 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:51 pm 
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Oh, how interesting! From what I remember from reading Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India, there's a type of sweet snack that is only made in the port city of Surat in Gujarat, and it's called sagla bagla. It comes in the form of a box of white flakes with almonds embedded inside. According to Jaffrey, "Only one man can make it, and he refuses to part with the recipe" (I believe those were her exact words). She also says they fly away when ceiling fans are turned on.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:21 am 
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Pole, the wrote:
I'm not following. Is having a HoS with a commoner name/surname okay or not okay in a modern Western state after all?
Which names are considered acceptable in the US includes a great many names that have completely different connotations in Britain. Americans are well-known for using surnames as first names, for example.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:07 am 
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Perhaps it's different in Poland, but in the UK, things like words and names can have connotations and expected places of residence. Different names may be associated with different ages, classes, regions, and so forth. Seeing a name, or other word, outside its usual place of residence, often creates amusement (so, for example, there's a well-known sketch in which two WWII RAF pilots (an identity associated with extreme linguistic poshness and a degree of archaicism) speak to one another in a speech-form associated with lower-class youth, and the audience finds the incongruity "funny"). So seeing The Leader of the Free World called "Ronnie" is funny. "Bill" is less extreme, but still amusing. Indeed, it may well be that a major politician wouldn't be allowed to be called 'Bill' or the like in the UK. We did accept "Tony" Blair, but not without some grousing and mockery at first [it may be that he was let off because the way had already been forged by "Tony" Benn.] But when Dave Cameron became PM, his attempts to go by his normal name were robustly rejected - when he told people his name was "Dave", he just became known as David "Call Me Dave" Cameron, and the name became a vehicle for political attacks - unless you're someone like Big Jim Callaghan, there's enerally a feeling that if a politician oes by too colloquial a name, it's because they're pretending to be somethin they're not.

The class connotations attached to most surnames are much weaker, so they rarely produce emotion. Nonetheless, surnames can be associated with particular classes, races, etc, and the fact that many names that are common amonst the public are not common amon politicians is indicative of something.

I meant to footnote my earlier comment: the fact that Johnson is associated with the black community is presumably why it's vastly more common in the US than in the UK or the Commonwealth. It's a common surname here, but it's two or three times as common in the US, apparently.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:54 am 
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I guess that association doesn't really exist here on the same level as in Britain. Heck, the current president has the same first name as a famous cartoon character that's a duck, and no one seems to bat an eyelid at that here at least.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:41 am 
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Quote:
Perhaps it's different in Poland, but in the UK, things like words and names can have connotations and expected places of residence.

The point isn't about having class connotations associated to names/surnames. The point is about having class connotations associated to the office of HoS / HoG.

Quote:
Heck, the current president has the same first name as a famous cartoon character that's a duck, and no one seems to bat an eyelid at that here at least.

As did the Polish PM in 2007-2014. Still, more people took offense in him supposedly being German than in him having a funny first name.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:45 pm 
Smeric
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Pole, the wrote:
Quote:
Perhaps it's different in Poland, but in the UK, things like words and names can have connotations and expected places of residence.

The point isn't about having class connotations associated to names/surnames. The point is about having class connotations associated to the office of HoS / HoG.

In Britain, I'm not sure anything is free of class connotations.
Quote:
Quote:
Heck, the current president has the same first name as a famous cartoon character that's a duck, and no one seems to bat an eyelid at that here at least.

As did the Polish PM in 2007-2014.

Yep! This strikes me as a bit weirder tbh because he's the only Polish person I've ever known to have that as a first name and because the name comes from Gaelic. Then again, there's also a retired Indonesian tennis player with the same name, so...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:59 pm 
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I'm surprised Sal didn't mention Dick or Mitt, OK neither was POTUS but still close enough and I'd imagine their names sound quite amusing to Britons.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:15 pm 
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"Dick" is an inherently amusing name.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:11 pm 
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Vijay wrote:
"Dick" is an inherently amusing name.

Maybe to anglophones, but I'd dare to say that the comic appeal of 'Bob' is more universal.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:24 pm 
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Io wrote:
I'm surprised Sal didn't mention Dick or Mitt, OK neither was POTUS but still close enough and I'd imagine their names sound quite amusing to Britons.

Yes, they are utterly ridiculous.

Silly losers' names include:
Wharton Barker
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Estes Kefauver (and if that seems odd, bear in mind that his mother was called 'Phredonia')
John St. John
Alson Jenness Streeter (his parents were keen on him having names, but didn't think to include a first one)

Fielding Wright
Rutherford Decker
Hale Johnson
Herschel Vespasian Johnson [damnit, I'm sure if he dropped the mewling "Herschel" and just went by "Vespasian Johnson", he'd have been Vice-President for sure! Also, a pulp fiction hero. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? We could have had Vespasian Johnson: Demon Slayer! Also, and ok here we have to give the Americans credit for a moment of awesomness, but H. Vespasian Johnson was running for VP against Hannibal Hamlin of all people...]

John Temple Graves
Parley P Christensen
Clinton Fisk
Absolom West
Earl Browder
Wendell Wilkie
Silas C. Swallow
Sargent Shriver
Lyndon LaRouche
Orval Faubus
Strom Thurmond
Darlington Hoopes
Barzillai Chambers (sounds odd, until you learn that his parents were "Walker" and "Talitha Cummi Mothershead" Chambers, at which point 'Barzillai' seems quite reasonable).
Green Clay Smith, because nothing shouts "President" like being named after a geological formation. [relatives include Junius Brutus Smith, Brutus Junius Clay, Cassius Marcellus Clay (the boxer was named after him), and Curran Cassius Smith]


Meanwhile, back in the UK, we had politicians with sensible names, like Praise-God Barebone (father of If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned Barebone). We've also had two different Prime Ministers whose first name was "Spencer".

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