A note to my French friends
Bonjour, my esteemed Francophone friends, et bienvenue à mon site Web! Please indulge me: I have one small comment I’d like to share with you this morning, and I hope it doesn’t cause you undue dismay.
I have some sympathy, of course, for the subtle torques and distortions that inevitably enter the act of nomenclature when non-Roman names are transcribed into Roman scripts, and vice versa: “누리” is not precisely “Nurri,” and you just live with that. (You don’t have to be a hard Sapir-Whorfian to understand that those are two different people, and that someone moving between two cultures with any degree of regularity is forced to live in the space between.)
I’m not all that offended; the bizarre intercap rendering, especially, amuses me. But I do think it’s kind of an elementary – almost a universal – courtesy to refer to someone as they refer to themselves, and I wouldn’t have imagined that such otherwise-worldly interlocutors as yourselves would have this hard a time rendering a plain Anglo-Saxon name like mine in another language founded on the same scriptural assets.
I mean, I don’t refer to Serge Gainbourg, Nicolas SarKozy, Catherine De-Neuve, right? Michel Houellebecqs? Michel Foucaux? (I could do this all day.)
Greenfield. Greenfield. Greenfield. Learn it…know it…love it! Merci…et bonne journée.
Adam Greenfield on TwitterMy Tweets
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