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  #1  
Old 12-27-2004, 02:49 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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It's "Gandhi," not "Ghandi."

SERIOUSLY, people. You sound like idiots.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2004, 02:51 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
SERIOUSLY, people. You sound like idiots.
Actually, to be picky, they'd type like idiots.
But, I was under the impression that his name is in hindi and thus transliterated. So the spelling would be arbitrary to a degree.
No?
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  #3  
Old 12-27-2004, 02:58 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Actually, to be picky, they'd type like idiots.
But, I was under the impression that his name is in hindi and thus transliterated. So the spelling would be arbitrary to a degree.
No?
Except that Gandhi himself was fluent in English, so I suppose he knew how to spell it.

(Who am I to post in this thread, anyway? I always misspell the name)
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:03 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Originally Posted by Alessan
Except that Gandhi himself was fluent in English, so I suppose he knew how to spell it.

My point though is that if it's a transliteration, there is no 'correct' spelling. A transliteration is an attempt to aproximate the phonetics of another alphabet with one's own. As such, he could've had a prefered way of transliterating his name, but it wouldn't be any more accurate than any other similar aproximations.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:10 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Here's a signature from Indira Gandhi, whose husband was adopted by the most famous member of the family (Mohandas K., of course). I hope that she, of all people, would know how to spell it. And yes, she and her father-in-law were fluent in English, so there's no hanky-panky with transliteration.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:13 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Here's a signature from Indira Gandhi, whose husband was adopted by the most famous member of the family (Mohandas K., of course). I hope that she, of all people, would know how to spell it. And yes, she and her father-in-law were fluent in English, so there's no hanky-panky with transliteration.
You appear to be ignorant of how a transliteration works I'm afraid.
There is no 'one correct transliteration' as they are all aproximations.
So you can make a case that was the spelling prefered by the family, but your argument falls apart when you attempt to suggest that it is the 'correct' spelling.
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:20 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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But if Gandhi spelled it "Gandhi", in English, with his own hand, then it's not a debateable transliteration - it's the proper spelling. Conversly, if Gandhi had chosed to spell his name "FitzWallace", then that would be the correct way to spell it, and to hell with what you think.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:23 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Originally Posted by Alessan
But if Gandhi spelled it "Gandhi", in English, with his own hand, then it's not a debateable transliteration - it's the proper spelling. Conversly, if Gandhi had chosed to spell his name "FitzWallace", then that would be the correct way to spell it, and to hell with what you think.
No.
Just because someone chooses one possible transliteratoin for their name does not make it the 'correct' one, simply the one they used.
If you want to make a case that's how the family spelled it, sure.
But if you want to claim that because that's how the family spelled it that it's 'correct', then no.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:29 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Preferred by the family, yeah. That's, like, how names work.

In the 1940s, my (German) great-uncle changed his name from "Brinkmann" (two "n"s) to "Brinkman" (one "n") to dodge some of the anti-German sentiment in the US. "Brinkman" is the correct spelling for his name, and for all of my cousins'. Because it's preferred by the people using it, and therefore right.

It's different for people like Laotzi/Lao Tzu/Laotsu/Lao Tse, where there's no way of knowing what the preferred English transliteration is. But in this case -- and make no mistake, I'm referring specifically to Mohandas K. Gandhi and his line -- there's no question.
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:32 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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(damn, should have previewed)

There's no "correct" transliteration for the name as it's used all over India, but in the specific case of Mohandas K. Gandhi and the people who took their name from him, yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to spell it.
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  #11  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:36 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Preferred by the family, yeah. That's, like, how names work.
Yes, one chooses one's name in one's own language.
But one does not get to choose how the phonetics of one's chosen name are transliterated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
In the 1940s, my (German) great-uncle changed his name from "Brinkmann" (two "n"s) to "Brinkman" (one "n")
You will notice, German uses the same alphabet as English.
Thus, no transliteration occured, he simply changed the spelling of his name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
"Brinkman" is the correct spelling for his name, and for all of my cousins'. Because it's preferred by the people using it, and therefore right.
...
It is the correct spelling because that's how they spell their name.
But, for instance, if they prefered a certain phonetic configuration in, say, Chinese, that wouldn't make it right, just prefered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
It's different for people like Laotzi/Lao Tzu/Laotsu/Lao Tse, where there's no way of knowing what the preferred English transliteration is. But in this case -- and make no mistake, I'm referring specifically to Mohandas K. Gandhi and his line -- there's no question.
Why is there no question?
One doesn't gain some Absolute Power Of Phonetics because they decide to transliterate their name a certain way. You understand it's an aproximation, yes?
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  #12  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:37 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
(damn, should have previewed)

There's no "correct" transliteration for the name as it's used all over India, but in the specific case of Mohandas K. Gandhi and the people who took their name from him, yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to spell it.
No.
There is a correct way to spell it, in Hindi.
There are several approximations in English.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:38 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Just because someone chooses one possible transliteratoin for their name does not make it the 'correct' one, simply the one they used.
If you want to make a case that's how the family spelled it, sure.
But if you want to claim that because that's how the family spelled it that it's 'correct', then no.
I think you're being overly picky and casting your aspertions too wide. Though the OP doesn't specifically state it, I am guessing it means the specific individuals Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, et al. For these individuals, this spelling is indeed totally correct, and variance from it (outside the context of a different form of transliteration) is incorrect.
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:43 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
I think you're being overly picky and casting your aspertions too wide.
Hunh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
Though the OP doesn't specifically state it, I am guessing it means the specific individuals Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, et al.
I assumed the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
For these individuals, this spelling is indeed totally correct, and variance from it (outside the context of a different form of transliteration) is incorrect.
No, it isn't.
What part of "transliterations are phonetic approximations" is giving people so much trouble?
Approximations which by their very nature cannot be absolute do not, via magick, become absulute because someone wants them to be.
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:44 AM
Anastasaeon Anastasaeon is offline
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Well, I am closely related to a family with the last name "Legere". It's pronounced "Lahzsheer", French, you see.
Well, for some reason, my aunt decided to start spelling it "Leger". That's NOT the correct spelling. They still pronounce it "Legere".
All of her personal documents, official stuff, like driver's licence, etc, are all spelled "Leger". Does that make it correct? Hell no.
And also, all of her children have the name "Leger". Is that the correct spelling of their true name? Hell no.

I'm with FinnAgain, only because my personal experience has shown me that it really doesn't matter how it's spelled - anyone can change it at any time. The family may prefer to spell something a certain way, but that doesn't make it "correct" - or "wrong", either. Particularly in Gandhi's case (though I spell it the way the family does, just because I respect that), where you're transliterating.

Maybe I'm just too laid back about the whole thing. People misspell my first name all the time, but I don't go wiggy on them. If my name was written in Japanese (not necessarily in kanji) - I'd end up with something along the lines of "anasutasia". Would I care terribly? No. Maybe Gandhi would throw a fit, though, who knows?


Reading back over this post, I think I was rambling and scatterbrained. I was trying to somehow agree with FinnAgain. My humblest apologies for my meandering scribbles today, I haven't taken my meds...
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:54 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
What part of "transliterations are phonetic approximations" is giving people so much trouble?
Approximations which by their very nature cannot be absolute do not, via magick, become absulute because someone wants them to be.
Transliterations are phonetic approximations, yes, in the general sense.

When you have someone utterly and consistently using one spelling, that spelling is absolute for them. No one is saying that it's the absolute spelling for anyone else, because no shit.

(BTW, Anastasaeon, I disagree about the "Leger" point. The way you want your name to be spelled is the correct way.)

(And it's "absolute," and "magick" is a dumb way to spell it.)
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  #18  
Old 12-27-2004, 03:55 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Yes, one chooses one's name in one's own language.
But one does not get to choose how the phonetics of one's chosen name are transliterated.
But English was Gandhi's language. He spoke and wrote in English.

Do you have something against bilingual people? Do they have less rights? Is someone who learned a language as an adult inferior in some way to someone who speaks it from childhood? Because that's what you seem to be saying.

What about my name? Can you spell it however you want? After all, my name is originally in Hebrew. Do I have no say in how to write it in English?
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:00 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Transliterations are phonetic approximations, yes, in the general sense.
No, in the technical sense. In the factual sense. In the realistic sense. In the rational sense. In the actual sense. Etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
When you have someone utterly and consistently using one spelling, that spelling is absolute for them. No one is saying that it's the absolute spelling for anyone else, because no shit.
Funny, and here I thought your OP was taking people to task for using the 'wrong' spelling. How can there be a 'wrong' spelling if there is no absolute for other people?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
(And it's "absolute,"
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Approximations which by their very nature cannot be absolute...
Ya don't say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
and "magick" is a dumb way to spell it.)
Fight your ignorance.

Magick -- the popularity of the writings of Aleister Crowley and his post-Theosophical mystical preferences have influenced modern spelling conventions such that today more often than not stage MAGIC is differentiated from esoteric and occult MAGICK. this is the standard form accepted by DMOZ editors to cover the range of subject topics related to rituals, spells, ceremonial and other types of magick.
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  #20  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:00 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Dunno. Wrong word. My only excuse is it's still early for me.
Quote:
No, it isn't.
What part of "transliterations are phonetic approximations" is giving people so much trouble?
We're not stupid. We are talking about a specific transliterative spelling for specific individuals who wrote it that way in English.

Did you order parts for your Wong Computer or your Wang Computer? Do you buy a plane to Hong Kong or Heung Gong? China or Chung Gwo?
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  #21  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:07 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
We're not stupid.
Trust me friend jjimm, this is in the pit. If I were to feel like calling anybody stupid, there would be no doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
We are talking about a specific transliterative spelling for specific individuals who wrote it that way in English.
If that was the case, the OP wouldn't be saying that "SERIOUSLY" people sound like idiots for not using the same transliteration. One doesn't sound like an idiot for using a perfectly valid alternate transliteration.

If the debate is over what spelling the Gandhi family prefered, I agree. If the debate is over which is the "correct" or "not idiotic" way of spelling it, I disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
Did you order parts for your Wong Computer or your Wang Computer? Do you buy a plane to Hong Kong or Heung Gong? China or Chung Gwo?
Yes, there are accepted transliterations for certain proper names, I wouldn't deny that. But that doesn't make them 'correct', simply prevelant.
For instance, "Peking" as a transliteration for "Bejing"
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  #22  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:08 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
No, in the technical sense. In the factual sense. In the realistic sense. In the rational sense. In the actual sense. Etc...
No, in the general sense, as opposed to the specific sense, as in the case of Mohandas K. Gandhi and his family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Funny, and here I thought your OP was taking people to task for using the 'wrong' spelling. How can there be a 'wrong' spelling if there is no absolute for other people?
Because there is an absolute for these people. Are you really so thick that you can't make the distinction between general and specific? How many more times do I have to say it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Approximations which by their very nature cannot be absolute do not, via magick, become absulute because someone wants them to be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Ya don't say?
Yuh-huh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgin
Fight your ignorance.
I don't care what NodeWorks has to say, it's still a stupid way to spell it. ABSOLUTELY. NYAH.
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  #23  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:11 AM
Anastasaeon Anastasaeon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord

(BTW, Anastasaeon, I disagree about the "Leger" point. The way you want your name to be spelled is the correct way.)
I understand and respect what you are saying. I do spell the name "Leger" for that particular family, out of respect for the way they want it spelled. Though going back through the family tree, and seeing others with the same name spelled differently makes people wonder what happened. "Aunt's whim", they say.
I spell my first name "Anastasia", though I get many, many variations of it. My FIL is forever spelling it "Anastacia". Like I said, though, maybe it's just me who doesn't mind. When others DO mind, I respect their wishes. I won't argue with a Sarah who hates to be Sara
It's just MHO (very humble) that there's no right or wrong way. I will spell it the way the family decides to spell it, but I'm not sure how much I'd want to call someone else an "idiot" for not spelling it the way the family does (as per the OP).
It's just too easy to get lost in translation.
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  #24  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:14 AM
Anastasaeon Anastasaeon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasaeon
(as per the OP).
Which is you, darling! Of course I knew that as I typed it! Naturally!
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  #25  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:18 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
No, in the general sense, as opposed to the specific sense, as in the case of Mohandas K. Gandhi and his family.
No, even in the specific case it is still a matter of personal preference, not correctness.
Besides, to steal your phrasing, are you really so thick that you don't grok that in any case, general or specific, it is still an aproximation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Because there is an absolute for these people. Are you really so thick that you can't make the distinction between general and specific? How many more times do I have to say it?
I don't know, are you so thick that you don't understand your OP calls people idiots for transliterating it differently? Thus suggesting an objective standard of transliteration?
If your rant is "Don't tell the Gandhis how to spell their name in English!", then, um, ok.
Anything beyond that is factually incorrect, especially if you call people idiots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
I don't care what NodeWorks has to say, it's still a stupid way to spell it. ABSOLUTELY. NYAH.
The spelling denotes a different word. As such, it's, to use your terms, SERIOUSLY idiotic to call a word stupid because you don't like how it's spelled.


Magick According to the famous occultist Aleister Crowley, magick is "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." ... In fact, Crowley... says that "every intentional act is a Magickal Act." If you follow his line of reasoning, there is a great deal of validity in what he says, although it is not what we are seeking at this time. We need to make the definition of magick a bit longer: Magick is the science and art of causing change (in consciousness) to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science.
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  #26  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:20 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasaeon
Which is you, darling! Of course I knew that as I typed it! Naturally!
Actually, it could refer to 'post' just as easily as 'poster'.
So it might not refer to her
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  #27  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:22 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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From a brief search, it seems there's a standard transliteration convention (Rice?) that distinguishes between the Hindi "gh" and "g" sound, and the "dh" and "d" sound. "Gandhi" is constructed using this version.

The spelling "Ghandi" would conflict with this and give a wrong approximation of the actual name. Unless the people using this spelling are working with a different transliteration system?
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  #28  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:25 AM
Anastasaeon Anastasaeon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Actually, it could refer to 'post' just as easily as 'poster'.
So it might not refer to her
I thought it might, but I had to be safe. I'm no gosh darn* fun in the Pit, I try too hard not to step on people's toes!

*Translation: goddamn muthafucking jaysus keeeyrist on a pogostick (hey, I had to add something to make the Pit proud)
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  #29  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:25 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Please to note that I did not call anyone an idiot, but said that they sounded (read?) like idiots. So long as we're on the topic.
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  #30  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:25 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
From a brief search, it seems there's a standard transliteration convention (Rice?) that distinguishes between the Hindi "gh" and "g" sound, and the "dh" and "d" sound. "Gandhi" is constructed using this version.

The spelling "Ghandi" would conflict with this and give a wrong approximation of the actual name. Unless the people using this spelling are working with a different transliteration system?
The importance is to note that it's a system, not an absolute law.

For instance, if I set up a system that was logicaly coherent and consistent I could transliterate it "Gondhi" "Gondhee." Etc...
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  #31  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:27 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
For instance, if I set up a system that was logicaly coherent and consistent I could transliterate it "Gondhi" "Gondhee." Etc...
Indeed, but were you to use this, may I suggest that, given the many-decades-long convention of transliterative spelling of this name, you'd look a bit of an idiot?
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  #32  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:28 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Please to note that I did not call anyone an idiot, but said that they sounded (read?) like idiots. So long as we're on the topic.
Fair enough, but you're still wrong.
Someone doesn't sound like an idiot for using a different transliteration.

For instance, in my years of going to temple I've seen a great many different transliterations. Never once have I accused a Rabbi of sounding or writing like an idiot.
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  #33  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:29 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
The importance is to note that it's a system, not an absolute law.

For instance, if I set up a system that was logicaly coherent and consistent I could transliterate it "Gondhi" "Gondhee." Etc...
And you'd still be wrong. Unless you can prove that he'd been spelling it "Mohandas K. Gondhee" all his life, in English, which he spoke and wrote.
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  #34  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:29 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimm
Indeed, but were you to use this, may I suggest that, given the many-decades-long convention of transliterative spelling of this name, you'd look a bit of an idiot?
You may suggest it.
However I don't see any idiocy inherent in creating another somewhat arbitrary and non-absolute system to replace another somewhat arbitrary and non-absolute system.

YMMV.
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  #35  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:31 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
And you'd still be wrong. Unless you can prove that he'd been spelling it "Mohandas K. Gondhee" all his life, in English, which he spoke and wrote.
Um, no.
I wouldn't be wrong unless I said "this is how he spelled his name in English."

If I said "This is an alternate and equally valid transliteration to English."
I would be correct.
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  #36  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:34 AM
Tracy Lord Tracy Lord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain
Fair enough, but you're still wrong.
Someone doesn't sound like an idiot for using a different transliteration.

For instance, in my years of going to temple I've seen a great many different transliterations. Never once have I accused a Rabbi of sounding or writing like an idiot.
They do so when it's not the way the family in question spells it. And especially when they refer to the 1982 Ben Kingsley picture, but definitely when the family of Mohandas K. Gandhi is concerned.

Hell, to tangent, because "Gandhi" is the commonly accepted spelling (its correctness in this case is irrelevant), they still sound like idiots for spelling it differently. But that doesn't matter.
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  #37  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:34 AM
Anastasaeon Anastasaeon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy Lord
Please to note that I did not call anyone an idiot, but said that they sounded (read?) like idiots. So long as we're on the topic.
Well, foo, that sucks all the fun out of it!

"You called me an idiot!"
"No, I didn't. I said you sounded like an idiot."
"Fru.. wha... zuh? BAH!"
"Nice comeback."
"Zoo!"



But still. In case you're thinking about calling someone an idiot. There's always that threat hanging in the air over our heads, if we misinterpret and/or misspell a name because we're not sure, or don't care unless the family asks us to care.

"Psst. The family spells it differently."
"So?"
"Tracy Lord of the SDMB might think it looks idiotic."
"Eep! How's that spelled again? I don't want to look like an idiot!"

I tease, I tease. But I still stand by the idea that I will respect a family's wishes to spell something a certain way, but not that is correct or incorrect either way, simply because I have first cousins named "Leger", and the other first cousins are of the exact same family, and named "Legere".
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  #38  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:46 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Tracy: Have fun with this thread. I'm kinda tired of it and going to unsubscribe. Might check back in later, but even the indefatigable Finn gets tired of semantic/linguistic mincing after a while.

Ciao ciao.
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  #39  
Old 12-27-2004, 04:59 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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People misspell and mispronounce my name all the time. I can count on one hand the number of people who have ever gotten it consistently right without asking me first, and they rarely ask me first. When I was a kid, my friends often couldn't spell my first name, which only has four letters in it and is one of the most common names in the world.

So frankly, misspelling a name in a way that a huge majority of people spell it so that's what we're exposed to most often anyway, is no big deal to me.

It really shouldn't be too big of a deal to anyone but the family concerned.
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  #40  
Old 12-27-2004, 05:00 AM
Sublight Sublight is offline
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Ok, then.

My co-worker is named 坂本. This may appear as gibberish on your browser, but it's the kanji characters for 'hill' and 'origin'.

Now, he moves to America and begins using the standard romaji reading for his name, Sakamoto. He uses this spelling to create all his ID cards, business cards, credit cards, membership cards, signatures, etc.

Now I, being of the opinion that transliterations are all relative and of equal validity, decide to call him Sahcamotoh.

He says I've misspelled his name. I say I haven't. Who's right?


Now, same question, only my co-worker was born in America and has a birth certificate that reads "James Randolph Sakamoto."
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  #41  
Old 12-27-2004, 05:06 AM
shijinn shijinn is offline
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FinnAgain, can you address Alessan's post #18? are you saying it is not idiotic to say, spell xash's name as Axesash?


on preview: nevermind. Tracy Lord 1 - FinnAgain 0 __
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  #42  
Old 12-27-2004, 05:40 AM
Charlie Tan Charlie Tan is offline
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On a lighter note, we have old Duckbreath of Libya.
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  #43  
Old 12-27-2004, 05:57 AM
Dead Badger Dead Badger is offline
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[obligatory]No, no, no - it's spelt Raymond Luxury Yach-t, but it's pronounced 'Throatwobbler Mangrove'.[/obligatory]

Throw another wrench into the thread; pkbites started a thread in here a while back complaining that people kept pronouncing his German surname (Bietz, I believe), "beets", instead of his preferred "bites". In a German pronunciation context, they are quite right, but it's his name. Whaddayareckon?
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  #44  
Old 12-27-2004, 06:00 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is online now
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Ah well, I'm awake and the SDMB doesn't seem to be hoppin', so I'll post a bit more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shijinn
FinnAgain, can you address Alessan's post #18?
Address insulting strawmen about bilingual people having less rights, etc...?
Nope, isn't worth my attention or time.
(Especially since my name comes from Hebrew, too)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sublight
Now I, being of the opinion that transliterations are all relative and of equal validity, decide to call him Sahcamotoh.
He says I've misspelled his name. I say I haven't. Who's right?
Now, same question, only my co-worker was born in America and has a birth certificate that reads "James Randolph Sakamoto."
By 'call him' I assume you mean 'spell his name?'

First scenario, his name is in Kanji, thus you'd have to spell the Kanji wrong in order to get his name wrong. He could very well say "That's not the way I spell my name in English." and in that case he'd be right. But the way he transliterated his name would be no more 'correct' than any other way, it would simply be the way he chose to do it.

In other words, it matters whether we are talking about the way a person transliterates their name versus the 'correct' transliteration. You can transliterate the Kanji as "Sahcamotoh." and you would be equally right.

Would it be rude to spell someone's transliterated name differently than they did? Quite possibly. Would it be incorrect to transliterate the root word alternatively? No.

Second scenario, his name is in English. Thus, if you write it any other way (in English) you are incorrect. If, however, you transliterate his name from English to, say, Russian, there would be several valid transliterations.

Or,as I've said

Quote:
If your rant is "Don't tell the Gandhis how to spell their name in English!", then, um, ok.
Quote:
If the debate is over what spelling the Gandhi family prefered, I agree. If the debate is over which is the "correct" or "not idiotic" way of spelling it, I disagree.
Quote:
So you can make a case that was the spelling prefered by the family, but your argument falls apart when you attempt to suggest that it is the 'correct' spelling.
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  #45  
Old 12-27-2004, 07:03 AM
Angel of the Lord Angel of the Lord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anastasaeon
Well, I am closely related to a family with the last name "Legere". It's pronounced "Lahzsheer", French, you see.
Well, for some reason, my aunt decided to start spelling it "Leger". That's NOT the correct spelling. They still pronounce it "Legere".
All of her personal documents, official stuff, like driver's licence, etc, are all spelled "Leger". Does that make it correct? Hell no.
And also, all of her children have the name "Leger". Is that the correct spelling of their true name? Hell no.
...whereas a good chunk of my family actually has the last name Léger, which is French and pronounced lay-zhay/lay-jay (something that approximates between the two). NOW I know where all the incorrect pronunciations come from....
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  #46  
Old 12-27-2004, 08:42 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is online now
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Let me just point out that

Only on the Straight Dope would we get involved into such an argument! He wouldn't care, I hope, he 'd be more worried that you were practicing ahimsa (non-violence).

Also, Hindi itself is written purely phonetically. It's not even remotely like English, in that there are distinct spellings for everything, often which don't have anything to do with the pronunciation. So I think it's Ok to spell it either way.
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  #47  
Old 12-27-2004, 09:33 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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There once was a man named Gandhi,
Who one day was feeling quite randhy;
So he found him a cookhy
Who gave him some nookhy,
And exclaimed, "Why, that was just dandhy!"

Thank you, I'll be in town all week.
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  #48  
Old 12-27-2004, 10:01 AM
anu-la1979 anu-la1979 is offline
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"gh" is translation for a specific letter/character in the Sanskrit-based languages, though. This letter/character/sound is not the sound in the first syllable of Gandhi's name. "gh" is a hard sound that is pronounced a little bit like "ghk" as in AnaGHa (very forceful). The "g" in Gandhi is soft and is translation for the character that comes before "gh" (guh,=g and ghu=gh). I think on the Aldebaran thread someone spelled it "Gandi" which is pretty much the same issue. "Duh" is the first character and "Dhu" is the second character and the much harder sound. Therefore, yes, Gandhi is the correct translation, not Ghandi or Gandi. And incidentally, Ghan means "smells like crap" in at least Marathi and Konkani-not sure about Guju which is where he was from.
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  #49  
Old 12-27-2004, 10:05 AM
anu-la1979 anu-la1979 is offline
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It would be like saying my name can be spelled either Anagha or Anaga because there's no "appropriate" translation. The second one is completely wrong-it's not a soft "g" it's the hard "gh" character in Sanskrit. Similarly, spelling Gandhi with an "h" after the G makes it a completely different sound because it refers to a completely different character. Ultimately this would be easier if I had a keyboard that typed devnagiri
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  #50  
Old 12-27-2004, 10:13 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Since we're fighting over something so stupid as how to spell a name (and I am in agreement with the OP, however the person who actually has the name chooses to translate it is by definition correct, since it's their name), I figured I'd address a popular myth:

Indira and Rajiv Gandhi are related, but not to the Mahatma.

Quote:
She was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. She was not related to Mahatma Gandhi; she took her last name from her husband Feroze Gandhi, who changed his surname to "Gandhi" for political reasons.
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