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What's In A Name? or Put Not Thy Princes in Trust
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... MMM ... tell me about it : I am writing poems about Butetown instead of about The UK General Election ... but Y Repwblic is not a news service nor an academic journal nor a campaigning organisation except in matters directly effecting it such as The Treason Felony Act 1848 ... I do not write directly about the things which I am struggling with here in Butetown because in truth doing politics can be like watching non-drying paint drying ... which is why we need to let off steam afterwards and talk about whatever we want to and how we want to ... but actually the most obscure and trivial subjects can be the source of new general understandings and we exercise our minds upon them.

Relax ... don't do it ... watch a video ... find a new job ... winning is not everything : pride !





... Life recreates Art recreates Life recreates Art recreates Life recreates Art recreates ...


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:00 pm    Post subject: happier? Reply with quote

At a meeting today, somebody distributed what was intended to be a funny list of reasons why men don't get depressed, and are generally happier. Of course, they do get depressed really.

The first item on the list was 'your last name stays put.' Everyone was laughing. I didn't see the joke. I was grinding my teeth almost to splinters.

It would be interesting to know if this really is connected to greater happiness and a more secure sense of identity. If so, women should stop being dorks and give themselves the same right to 'ego constancy' in the literal if not the clinical sense.

Fay Weldon said some of her female relatives had been through several changes of surname as she had herself. She thought men had a firmer sense of who they were. They had one surname and stuck to it.

In long running soap operas such as 'Coronation Street', a good number of the female characters such as Gail, Emily, Deirdre and Rita have been been through a dizzying array of marriages, and an equal number of name changes.

This is realistic of course. It would be odd if characters like these had chosen otherwise.But it makes me sad, even if they are only fictional characters.

Serial name changes symbolise for me what flighty inconstant unimportant will o' the wisps women are thought to be. To make just one change and stick to it would not be so bad.

It reminds me of slavery in the ante bellum South. African American slaves had the surname of their current master. When they were sold down the river to New Orleans, the name changed again.

After the end of slavery, some former slaves recognised the indignity, and dropped the surnames of their last masters in favour of something self chosen.' 'Freeman' was a favourite. But most could not be bothered.

Malcolm Little ditched the surname he was born with. As he had no idea what his 'real' surname should have been, and had no hope of finding out, he called himself Malcolm X.

It would be nice to see some solidarity of the oppressed as when gay men came out to support the miners in 1984. But I remember seeing a programme about an engaged couple who were in counselling.

One of them was a young British man of African Caribbean ancestry. He struck me as pretty immature. He couldn't accept that his white British fiancee did not want to have his surname. He was in a massive strop about it.

I thought that if they could not even agree about that, they might as well call the engagement off. According to this guy, even women's natal names are not their own. They don't generally come down through a female line, or if they do, it will usually be for only one generation. No, but their names do usually commemorate one of their parents, in the absence of adoption.

You could make a much better case that even African Caribbean people's names are not their own. But that would sound brutal.

This guy reminded me so much of someone we knew who had suffered terrible racism and was upset about it, but was generally pretty intolerant and wanted a 'traditional marriage.' Perhaps you can guess whom I mean?

Last edited by marianneh on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:13 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:19 pm    Post subject: amal alamuddin Reply with quote

Amal Alamuddin, a barrister and human rights lawyer had a lovely alliterative name. It gave her such character.

Then she married the actor George Clooney, and began to call herself Amal Clooney which sounds almost discordant to those who feel that a first name 'deserves' a surname of the same ethnicity. This is as bad as Barnardo O' Higgins.

Surely she of all women, has enough legal training to know it was not necessary? Of course she has a right to call herself whatever she likes.

But I have a right to my opinon. And my opinion is that this is like taking a delicate beautiful sketch and scribbling all over it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:39 am    Post subject: Ms Reply with quote

We can see from old literature that at one time a man below the status of a knight, would be addressed by the courtesy title 'Master' before his name. Similarly, a woman would be addressed as 'Mistress', regardless of her marital status.

According to some internet sites, 'Mistress' began to differentiate into Mrs and Miss in the early seventeenth century. But it may be that Miss was a title for juveniles, just as Master became, after it differentiated from Mister.

In his eighteenth century novel, Richardson refers to his definitely unmarried heroine as Mrs Pamela Andrews, and she is only 16 at the beginning of the action, with rather tenuous claims to adulthood. From reading Jane Austen's novels, you would get the impression that by the late eighteenth century or the early nineteenth, Mrs and Miss were handily used to denote marital status.

Furthermore, the eldest unmarried sister in 'Pride and Prejudice', a young adult, is formally addressed as Miss Bennet but her younger sister is Miss Elizabeth or Miss Elizabeth Bennet. But the change over was gradual.

Ellen or Nelly Dean, who narrates most of 'Wuthering Heights', is an unmarried servant who is addressed as 'Mrs Dean'. In the upstairs/downstairs world of servants behind a green baize door, the head cook was addressed as 'Mrs' regardless of marital status.

The usage persisted for senior nannies employed by royalty into the twentieth century as if the courtesy title conferred an extra gravitas. But it is apparently an act of lese majeste to use it in reference to royal people.

Leanne Wood was suspended from the National Assembly for a few days for referring to the queen as 'Mrs Windsor.'

In France and Germany, women over about 30 were likely to be addressed as Madame or Frau regardless of their marital status.'Fraulein' is now almost obsolete.

Although I may be unusual in objecting to the frivolous abandonment of perfectly good surnames on marriage, there is quite a widespread objection to the Mrs/Miss split. After all, a grown man is not addressed as Master if he is unmarried.

Your marital arrangements are no one else's business. The title 'Ms' is meant to cover all cases. It doesn't sound too melifluous though, as it has no vowel. A contributor to 'She' magazine suggested ditching it in favour of 'Mrs' for adults.

But according to a site on the net, Ms also has a long history, going back to the seventeenth century although it fell into abeyance for centuries. It can be pronouned 'Mizz' which sounds quite natural in a 'bucolic' accent in the English West Country or in the southern states of America.

My subjective feeling is that 'Missus' is an ugly word, at least when used by itself as in ''Ooh' er, Missus!'' or when a man refers to his wife as 'the Missus'. Women don't call their husbands 'the Mister.'

Is it really necessary to have courtesy titles at all? We are living in informal times. We are on first name terms with everyone. We are not so status ridden that we freak out if a three year old addresses us by our given names.

We have come a long way from the time of Jane Austen when Lizzy Bennet's parents call each other Mr and Mrs Bennet although they have been married over twenty years and might have been expected to be on intimate terms. As I remember, the heroine of 'Emma', called Mr Knightly, 'George' which was his first name, in order to wind him up. But as he didn't seem to mind she desisted.

When they have become engaged, he asks, ''Can't you call me George, now?'' ''Never!'', says she,''You will always be Mr Knightly to me.'' But she adds, blushing, that she supposes she will have to call him George once in that place where N takes M for better or for worse.

We have moved so far away from that level of formality that it sounds ridiculous to us. Why not go the whole hog and ditch courtesy titles altogether?

Last edited by marianneh on Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:10 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm ... Are you sure that " Master / Mister " was a universal title for men ? ... In Quakerism there was a rejection of all titles in favour of first names or first names plus surnames in the 17c because I am fairly sure that " Master " and " Mistress " explicitly referred to those who had the command of others e.g. an apprentice became a freeman or journeyman before he set up his own business as a master ( of ) craftsmen ... These were straightforward descriptions e.g. a " Mistress " had the command of her servants and then in a more lurid way the command of her husband or of a man she was not married to ... Personally I am annoyed by forms which demand me to give a title and I have on occasions ticked " other " and given myself a fancy title to ridicule this daft request ... It has been argued back to me that what is really required is my sex or gender but they never offer options such a " Well I used to be a man but then I was emasculated using hormones and surgery and now I am a sideboard." ... If information is required for some definite purpose then it should be asked for e.g. " For the purposes of toilet provision are you male or female ? " ... In which case if you are female they will provide you with a very long queue for the toilet because that is what women really want - ?

You are paying more attention to Cymraeg recently : most of the titles in use in Welsh are taken from English - but presumably there were titles in use in Medieval Wales for addressing a brenin, dwg or arglwydd with so have you any idea about what they were ? ... I mean - look at this crap :


" ... A formal announcement in The London Gazette reads: "The Queen has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of Royal Highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour." ... "


" ... Thomas Hungerford, who became the first Speaker of the English House of Commons in 1376, used the title, "Mr. Speaker," a precedent followed by subsequent Speakers of the House of Commons. This influenced parliamentary usage in France. ... By the 18th century, the president of a French parlement was addressed as "Monsieur le Président." ... When the Second French Republic was established in 1848, "Monsieur le Président" became the title of the President of the Republic of France. ... "

" ... Lee's motion asked congress to consider "what titles it will be proper to annex to the offices of President and Vice President of the United States - if any other than those given in the Constitution." Vice President John Adams, in his role as President of the United States Senate organized of a Congressional committee. There Adams agitated for the adoption of the style of Highness (as well as the title of Protector of Their [ the United States' ] Liberties) for the President. Adams and Lee were among the most outspoken proponents of an exalted presidential title. ... Others favored the variant of Electoral Highness or the lesser Excellency, the latter of which was vociferously opposed by Adams ... On further consideration, Adams deemed even Highness insufficient and instead proposed that the Executive, both the President and the Vice President ( i.e., himself ), be styled Majesty to prevent the "great danger" of an executive with insufficient dignity. ... Washington consented to the demands of James Madison and the United States House of Representatives that the title be altered to "Mr. President." ... "

This might interest you Marianne : The High Court Master is addressed as " Master " in court rooms -


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:46 pm    Post subject: whose master? Reply with quote

I did think it was all men below the rank of knight who were addressed as Master, but I might be wrong. Serfdom existed in small geographical pockets until the time of George iii although it ceased to exist as the usual arrangement way back in the time of the Black Death.

I have heard that as late as Jane Austen's time, there were poor people in Britain who didn't have surnames. Presumably, they couldn't afford them. Maybe that is why those who had them, flaunted them.

The Duke of Wellington was asked for a quote at the time of the hysterical mourning that followed the death of the Prince Regent's only child which was just like the Diana mourning in 1997. He managed to say something appropriate.

But in private,he said he was glad she was dead. She was always winding him up. She actually had the nerve to call him Arthur!

I remember my children having a picture book originally publsihed in the 1820s with beautifully coloured illustrations. In the rhyming alphabet, 'Q was a Quaker and would not bow down.' The Quaker looks pretty haughty in the illustration.

It must have discombobulated people to be addressed by their first names by Quakers at a time when even married couples were not on first name terms with each other after forty years of marriage. I wonder how the Quakers knew what the other person's first name was if it was never used.

Into the twentieth century, 'master' was used to mean employer, but you can't use it like that now. It sounds too servile as if the employees had the status of slaves.

Of course you often find it in passe children's literature, as in 'Johnny shall have a new master.' Also in books by Enid Blyton, servants and their vulgar offspring address the main characters as Master Julian or Miss Georgina or whatever.

George Orwell had originally thought as a boy, that that was just how adults addressed other people's children. It took him a while to notice the class element.

As for Wales, we are lazy, using English courtesy titles. But this is not the invariable practice. In North Wales, you sometimes have Boneddig or Bonwr as a courtesy title but I wonder if it is loaded in a class way. A 'gwr boneddig' is a gentleman in the sense of someone who can live idly and without manual labour. For women you can say, 'Y Foneddiges.'

But remember we haven't had surnames that long in Wales. We used to have patronymics. According to Tim Saunders, you would be addressed by your first and last name in moments of solemnity or formality, and you can see this in Kate Roberts' novels.

I do get irritated when asked, ''Is it Mrs or Miss?'' I say, ''Well, I have been married, but Hancock is not my husband's name.'' The person says, ''I'll put you down as Ms.'' I feel only irritation you understand, not burning anger. It's not that important.

Here is one thing where I think we disagree. I don't care if the queen's senior great gandchildren are called Prince George and Princess Charlotte. I just don't want them to have any other privileges.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:18 am    Post subject: humble pie Reply with quote

I've done some further net surfing. I'm afraid it looks as if you are right and I was wrong. Master or Mister as a prenominal title did denote authority over other people and so did Mistress.

But later the usage broadened out so anyone could use them. Once Mister became the established title for adults, Master became available for boys and youths. We once had a letter from the dentist referring to my son with the abbreviation 'Mast' before his name which I have never seen before or since.

'Master' is in sharp decline in this sense. It sounds precious and perhaps snobbish because of the long history of use by servants to refer to the sons of their employers.

I have just seen a site which says Dr Johnson has several defintions of the word 'Mistress' in his dictionary, but never does he associate it with marital status. He mentions dining wtih Mrs Carter, Miss So-and-So and Miss Fanny Burney.

They were all unmarried, but the two younger were called Miss because that was the coming trend. Until recently, to call an adult woman 'Miss' would have implied that she was a prostitute.

Apparently before the nineteenth century, most women had no prenominal title at all. It looks as if I was using the term 'courtesy title' in a rather reckless way. Only the children of peers have courtesy titles. I should have referred to forms of address.

Apparently, for some time Mistress or Mrs indicated not marital status but authority over employees or having mastered a skill or profession. So an unmarried teenage housekeeper might be Mrs Pamela Andrews.

Her employer's unmarried daughter in her early 20s who was a leisured young lady might be Miss Emma Woodhouse, while the unskilled washerwoman would just be Betty Black with no prefix.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: madam bevan Reply with quote

We can see in Wales some attempt to use 'Madam' to denote marital status as Madame has been used in France. This can be seen in relation to the Methodist revival and funding the Society For Propagating Christian Knowledge.

So we hear of Madam Bevan and a bountiful person called Madam Sidney Griffith. Sidney was her own first name. There is no clear example of the 'Mrs John Smith' usage until it occurs in Jane Austen's novel,'Sense and Sensibility' published in 1811.

Madam may have been used in England in the same way for all I know, but I doubt it would have been used in Scotland where spouses did not share surnames at the relevant time.

Mistress or Mrs wouldn't have had the same connotations of a leisured benefactor who could call on her husband's financial resources. 'Mrs' indicated not a married woman but a businesswoman who dirtied her hands with actual work or commerce.

That is probably why middle and upper class girls decided to continue calling themselves Miss after conming of age. It dispelled any idea of a vulgar shop girl or milkmaid. A generation before, they would have been addressed as Mrs on reaching adulthood or the death of their mothers, whichever came first.

Feminine nouns have a disastrous tendency to pick up coarse sexual connotations. Miss may be the only one where we see the process working in reverse. In the 1740s or thereabouts, pretty picture books would be printed, marketed 'for little Masters and Misses'.

To call a grown up Miss was an insult, implying prostitution. But it was cleaned up and became smart. By 1900, the use of Mrs and Miss to differentiate married from unmarried women was almost complete.

The War to end all Wars inflicted a terrible imbalance of the sexes on the population. So it became a bit of an embarrasment for an older woman to be a Miss. She was not one of those lucky females who had caught one of the remaining men still living. No, she was a dried up virgin past her sell by date, a spinster!

Most local authorities forbade women teachers to marry and keep their jobs until the 40s, although this was technically illegal. Female teachers had an unenviable reputation as nervy sex starved spinsters.

Even after the marriage ban was lifted, children still often addressed female teachers as 'Miss' automaticallly, so it almost became synonymous with a school ma'am.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:08 pm    Post subject: tulip Reply with quote

The MP Tulip Siddiq was stopped and interrogated at an airport as she tried to go through customs. The customs officials would not believe she was really the mother of the little girl she was escorting. Her daughter's passport showed that she had a different surname from her mother.

The child had her father's surname. He and Tulip were married. She had never adopted his surname, and she was not even being avant garde. This custom had not really caught on in the Muslim world.

Tulip says that children's passports should give the names of both parents to avoid confusion. Some comments on the message board said the customs officer was right. Child trafficking is rife. What if a parent had been abducting a child? There would have been complaints that the folk at customs control weren't doing their job.

I don't really agree with the comments. This interrogation was officious and stupid. It is not unusual for a mother not to share a surname with her child. If they're going to be this hypervigilant, in the interests of consistency, they should interrogate every adult who tries to leave the country, accompanied by a child.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to see that you are holding the fort : surely women who have adopted their husband's surname also abduct children - after all in the war of the sexes running off with the children is all that most women have as leverage - so after interviewing such women there ought to be female ( or of course transgendered want-to-be female ) social workers on hand with forms to fill in for emergency benefit payments - and counsellors at the ready to agree what a bastard he is for not buying her that timeshare in the Bahamas - and police officers ready to restrain him from trying to see his kids - and lawyers ready to assert that although these are his children by his previous wife they are now his common law wife's children by adoption ...
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on. You see Muslim + child is the same as seeing Papist + child.

Usually that child will be raped.

Some Muslims and Papes are innocent, but you gotta check.
Innocent until proven Guilty ... but...
Liberty - Equality - Fraternity : Aux armes, Citoyens !

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Politics is War by other Methods - Some guy on the Internet
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually like your belligerent remarks but I doubt that you would be so cruel as to say that to a Muslim directly : this is just idly abusing an imagined identity Moritz / Daf ... Think of what happened to you in Splott : Muslims did not do those criminal things to you - children did ... now surely you would be more justified in getting tough both upon both children and upon the causes of children - and do not dare ascribe the blame for children to women either ...

... I do not think that those who do not know you are going to receive these remarks with understanding : they will not even be offended so much as hurt - turn these remarks around and address them to yourself ... How would you feel if I said such things to you or alleged that The Church in Wales is full of child molesters ? ... We know that religious communities positively attract those who use the role of rabbis, priests, imams etc as a cloak for evil activities but this is the power of the Republican argument against Hierocracy which is that it is a perversion of and corruption of Religion which is a healthy activity which is universal to our species and possibly other species too ... How can this guy be thought to be other than perverted and corrupting ?


Zameer Ghumra jailed for showing beheading video to child

A man who showed a beheading video to a child has been jailed for six years. ... Pharmacist Zameer Ghumra, of Leicester, tried to brainwash primary school-age children into supporting the so-called Islamic State. ... Ghumra, 38, who told boys they should kill people who insulted Islam, was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court of disseminating "terrorist propaganda". ... Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said it was a "determined effort" to radicalise children and turn them into terrorists.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:22 am    Post subject: sweep sweep Reply with quote

Perhaps you would have found it less offensive if Mortiz had said 'Catholic priest and child.'

The late Bruce Forsyth had a vacuous programme where he said, ''We asked a hundred nuns,if you saw someone shop lifiting, would you grass them up?''

My adoptive father guessed the percentage of nuns who would do what he thought was the right thing at 100%. He was not a young man but he was naive. He was cocooned from reality.

The true figure was 37%. He grumbled, ''There must be a lot of dishonest nuns about then!'' Of course you might have reasons other than dishonesty for not dobbing a shop lifter in, such as compassion for instance.

But how hopelessly naive can you get? 100% indeed!

As he read the Daily Mirror from cover to cover he may have modified his views after the paper began to run headlines such as 'Evil nuns beat us up and told us we were going to Hell. We thougtht we were already there.' That was a quote from a Magdalene survivor.

Untiil recently, all it took was donning a wimple or a dog collar for a psychopath to be given a free pass, assumed to be an angel. While discussing this with a friend I said that nuns did 'tend to be' dishonest.

He said this was a 'sweeping statement'. What do you think? Am I being unfair?

I hate nuns. Does that mean I am unfit to make a judgement because my emotions are getting in the way?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:37 pm    Post subject: pola Reply with quote

A British woman has been asked to prove her identity by the NHS when applying for treatment. She had to prove she was not one of these foreign scroungers who come here from eastern Europe to abuse our benefits.

The problem was that she had married a Pole and had unthinkingly adopted his name in the typical way women do. It's a gruesome comment on the xenophobia which is now institutionalised even in the health service.

You might have expected that it would have occurred to her that she would have this problem. An African Caribbean woman whose daughter was at school with my eldest son, had heard my husband's booming Croatian accent, but had never known me to open my mouth.

When she saw me in the street, she asked me, ''What language do you speak at home? Polish?'' She took it for granted that we came from the same country.

It would be good if women gave a little thought to why they are bothering with this pointless custom. Of course, my main reason for not changing the name on my cards was idealogical, but it did also occur to me that it would cause me serious problems to have an east European surname.

Ony once did I wimp out. Dafydd had a friend who turned out to be a coprophiliac. When the friendship broke up, he had the impudence to send Dafydd hate mail, insinuating that he was a pervert.

It was a case of one accusing finger pointing forward and four pointing back. I wrote to tell the guy that I didn't care if he liked watching videos of Japanese women eating their own shit, but 'just don't give my friends any shit, capiche?'

I thought it would be cowardly and 'off' to make it an anonymous letter. But I didn't quite have the nerve to sign it with the name I used everyday.

So I signed it 'Gospoda 'Trotsky' ' instead. 'Gospoda' , of course, is 'Mrs' in Serbo-Croat as in Russian. I feel rather ashamed that I didn't have the courage to stick my head above the parapet, except while wearing a disguise!

But I know Dafydd appreciated my support anyway. ''Bish bosh! Sorted!'' he cried.
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