Off topic: Legal name change: a man has changed his name to "They"
Thread poster: xxxElena Sgarbo
xxxElena Sgarbo  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Sep 25, 2004

From the newspaper (US):

Who chose a dumb name? 'They' did

By Associated Press
Sun-Sentinel
Posted September 23 2004, 5:54 PM EDT

BRANSON, Mo. -- A Branson man has put a face to the anonymous references people often make to "they" by changing his name to just that: "They."

The former Andrew Wilson, a 43-year-old self-employed inventor, was granted legal permission last week by a circuit judge to change his name.

It's just They, no surname.

He also has changed his driver's license to reflect his new name.

They said he did it for humor to address the common reference to "they."

"'They do this,' or 'They're to blame for that.' Who is this 'they' everyone talks about? 'They' accomplish such great things. Somebody had to take responsibility," he said.

Now, his friends are getting used to his new name.

"They call up and say, 'Is They there?'"

He acknowledged the name could drive grammarians crazy.

"Not only is he making a statement about his name, but he's messing with the entire English language," friend Craig Erickson said.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/ -> "STRANGE BUT TRUE"

[Edited at 2004-09-25 02:49]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 06:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
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Interesting Sep 25, 2004

In French instead of "they" (ils) the pronoun "on" is used for that, and it's very commonly used "on m'a dit" (I was told, but also: "on" told me) and therefore the all ready answer is "on est un con" ("on" is an idiot). In French it rhymes and I wouldn’t have translated by idiot but it’s the translation that my dictionary gives.

But I don't think that any Frenchman would chose to call himself "on" exactly for that reason, the rhyme is too easy.

Claudia


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
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Physics is full of wonders - and law is full of surprises Sep 25, 2004

But the idea is not quite new. I remember a film (Star Treck?) where a Borg (half man, half machine) was named "you" (in German version "du"), just to check his humour and understanding.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:20
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Hugh Sep 25, 2004

Harry_B wrote:

But the idea is not quite new. I remember a film (Star Treck?) where a Borg (half man, half machine) was named \\\"you\\\" (in German version \\\"du\\\"), just to check his humour and understanding.


I remember that episode. However, the Borg repeated the word (you) and this gave Jordi the idea to name him (Hugh) - a semi-common first name - (which is pronounced like the word (hue) or like (you) with an aspirated H at the beginning). Interesting that this play on words was lost in the German version.



[Edited at 2004-09-25 17:00]


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Hunting lost gags Sep 25, 2004

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
...Interesting that this play on words was lost in the German version.

I just watched a DVD which have the advantage that you can hear them in several languages, so I compared the first play on words:
The title of the film was LIARLIAR with Jim Carrey and it starts with children at an expensive school telling the professions of their fathers.

The first child says: "My dad is a doctor at hospital", the second one: "My dad is a professor at university" and the son of our hero says: "My dad is a liar". "He is WHAT?" asks the teacher, "He's a liar. He goes to court and tells the judge stories." "Oh I see" says the teacher, "he's a lawyer!"

In the French version he says: "Mon papa est un monteur" ... "Ah, je vois, il est un advocat!"
(gag replaced by an even better one)

In the German version he says: "Mein Papa ist ein Rechtsverdreher" ... "Ah, ich verstehe, er ist ein RechtsANWALT"
(gag nearly lost)


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Legal name change: a man has changed his name to "They"

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