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Description

Forenames and nicknames are an issue which concern us all because we all have a name and we often need to decide on a name for a child or a pet, possibly at least once in our lifetime. This book includes a very multidisciplinary study (linguistic, social, psychological and stylistic) which is entertaining to read. Names are part of our daily life and this is a commonplace topic about which we all have something to say. They help us to become closer not only to the own names but also to people bearing them or reacting to them. Names have a story behind. This is summarised in the following revealing quotation: “Be still. Remember my name. It is the label that is attached to me. It is the one thread that is sewn through this entire story. Your story or my story – it is only the stitching that changes. The want is the thing that drives us. Trust me: I have a story to tell.” ? Richard Payment, "For Want of Wonders".

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Publié par
Date de parution 02 juin 2017
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9782342153118
Langue Français

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Full names vs. nicknames
Inmaculada de Jesús Arboleda Guirao
Connaissances & Savoirs

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Full names vs. nicknames
 
Contents
 
 
 
 
1. Introduction
When Tsirópulos (1987) explains how he became interested in people’s forenames, he does so in a very poetic way. He relates how one afternoon he was walking through the cemetery because he felt lonely and empty. His eyes came to rest on the gravestones, which showed the names of the people buried there. As he read them, “he felt inside plenitude of names and, surrounding him, a multitude of people” (p. 7). Never before had he felt the richness of names. Not only are graveyards full of names but the whole world is full of names.
The Bible states that man was created by God on the sixth day with a significant characteristic: “the ability to name, the ability to speak” (Redmonds, 2004, p. 465). As explained in Genesis 2: 18-23, Adam, the first man, named the animals before the creation of Eve. Adam’s task was important in that, by giving animals and things a name, they took on a new and more real existence because that existence was for mankind. This is a second creation which complements the first one (as cited by Albaigès, 1998). The interest that human beings have in naming can be seen in daily life. For instance, when a child has a new toy or a pet, he/she wants to give it a name (Olaya-Aguilar, 2014). The name humanises things.
When a child is born, s/he is born naked in every sense. The forename is given in every society at the beginning of one’s life (Pommier, 2013). Being human implies having a name (Finch, 2008). Everyone has a name (Liu, 2001) and the name is important because it accompanies the individual throughout his/her life (Kohoutková, 2009). In Coulmont’s own words (2011): “your forename (…) pursues you in daily life: at school or work (…), the e-mail address you use includes it” (p. 3, our own translation). As Albaigès (1998, p. 100, our own translation) observes, “the name [will be] the word the child will hear most often in his/her life”. The very first thing children write is their own name and the name of the people they love. Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges (2006, p. xi) posit that “it is difficult to imagine a human culture without personal names”. There are names for people, pets, places, hurricanes or even days (e.g. Viernes de Dolores - one week before Holy Friday, Día de la Candelaria -2 nd of February, etc.) (Albaigès, 1998). The main question human beings ask themselves is somehow related to names. Human beings want to know who their creator was, that is, His name. Likewise, Homer records his heroes’ names on a stone, Dante asks Virgil about the creatures they meet, the main obstacle to Romeo and Juliet’s love is a name-related problem and, at the moment of death, Hamlet is concerned about his name, which has been harmed (Tsirópulos, 1987).
Dunkling (1977), Albaigès (1998) and Darlington (2015) refer to the issue of names as a fascinating and interesting topic, even a passion . In addition, this subject is seen as surprising and unpredictable (Dunkling, 1977; Earnshaw, 2012). As Dunkling (1977, p. 18) points out, “the game of names has been played for a long time and (…) it has always been worthy of being a spectator sport”. Names have been a “subject that concerns us all” (p. 9). Many writers started writing about names by looking at Adam’s role in naming creatures. However, despite all this interest, this has been an “undeservedly neglected subject” (Redmonds, 2004, p. viii) for many years (Valentine, Brennan & Brédart, 1996). The topic was regarded as a pastime rather than a science. García-Cornejo (2001) explains that scholars who have studied personal names have explored them as an adjunct rather than as a primary purpose. Although in recent times the interest in this subject has grown, until now most of the research carried out on names in both England and Spain, which are the focus of this study, has been devoted to the exploration of surnames and place names (Robson, 1988; Postles, 2002; Alomar, 2005; Gamella, Gómez-Alfaro & Pérez-Pérez, 2014). Moreover, when Redmonds (2004) was working in a school in Nairobi, where children could be addressed by either their surname or their name, he started to think more about English naming practices and realised the inaccuracy of dictionaries, which offered information which differed from that of local records. He holds the view that “most reference works have let us down” (p. xiii).
Authors such as Albaigès (1998), Tibón (2002) or Earnshaw (2012) draw attention to the fact that society and history are expressed by means of names. Faggion (2011) refers to first names, surnames and nicknames used for footballers, who are part of our day by day experience. The language we use in our everyday life is loaded with expressivity and through language individuals can express their reactions. Names themselves as well as the reactions to names are full of this expressivity (Evans & Green, 2006). Many different factors can be involved in the choice of a name, e.g. euphony, fashion, family tradition, religion, books, films, etc. (Withycombe, 1971; Cutler, McQueen & Robinson, 1990; Zittoun, 2004). This study uses a comparative perspective in order to provide more empirical evidence for the significance of forenames and nicknames in our lives by exploring more closely their richness and colourfulness, as portrayed in people’s reactions to them, in two different languages, English and Spanish.
This book is divided into several sections. The introduction, i.e. this first section, summarises the present study and the reasons for carrying it out, as well as presenting how it is structured. The following section consists of a review of the literature which has provided a basis for undertaking this project. The third part deals with the main objective and the research questions set. The fourth section includes the definition as well as the operationalisation of some of the terms which will be examined in the study. The fifth section sets out the methodology employed– that is, who the participants were and which instruments were used, as well as the procedure followed. The sixth part presents the way in which the data were analysed. The seventh section discusses the results in the light of the aspects chosen to analyse. At this point, some conclusions are drawn and the main findings are summarised; followed by an evaluation of the limitations of the study and suggestions for future research. Finally, the sources of references are cited and appendices of relevant material for the research are added. The most recent version of APA style (American Psychological Association, 2012) has been followed to a large extent for the writing of this book.
2. History
2.1. Recent history of facts and people
Apart from facts, history also relates to people and, consequently, people’s forenames (Tsirópulos, 1987).
When dealing with the history of facts and people, firstly with a focus on England, it must be highlighted that it is the first industrial and urban society (Lambert, 2001-2012). Also remarkable is the fact that middle and upper class women were taught music and sewing in the 19 th century and they were pioneers in hiding reflective ideas in their writings, mainly from the 16 th to the 18 th centuries (Taillefer de Haya, 2007). In 1857 divorce became legal. Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901, was the monarch who brought great wealth and power to Britain. The two world wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945) were followed by loss of international power and economic difficulty (Medlicott, 1967). In the first years of peace after WW1, social distinctions were blurred, more than ever even though “Britain was still, as it is today, very much a class-conscious society” (Marwick, 1965, p. 300). During the twentieth century, the labour and conservative parties alternated in government (Parker, 2011). A more positive phase started in the mid 20 th century. Television, cinema, computers, singers and gardening, amongst others, became part of leisure. There was an impact of America on British society (Americanisation). By the end of the 20 th century it was common for women to have careers (Lambert, 2011-2012) and England became a multicultural society. Thomson (1965) points out that after 1945 there was an “extensive abandonment of traditional values” (p. 275). The nationalist demands of Scotland and Wales, much more obvious than those of England, had already begun in the 1880s (Philip, 1999).
Now with a focus on Spain, during the late 19 th century and early 20 th century society was mainly rural (Prieto & Barranquero, 2007). In the 1920s there was an industrialisation of the country. Tusell (1998-1999) explains that two dictatorships, with Primo de Rivera (1923-1930) and Franco (1939-1975), were set up between the monarchies of Kings Alfonso XIII and Juan Carlos I. After Franco’s Dictatorship of 35 years, democracy started with Adolfo Suárez. Afterwards, the Left and Right Wings alternated in power. In the 19 th and first part of the 20 th centuries there was a support of traditional Catholicism, later there was an anticlerical Spain (note the Constitution of 1933) and during Franco’s dictatorship the interests of the Catholic Church were defended again. In the 1930s erotic shows became popular, the appeal of football grew significantly and cinema became one of the mass communication media

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