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Language Log

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 - 7:05 a.m.

We carefully and painstakingly selected a nice name for the new person, taking care to honor MIL's father with it. It is a very close variant of the name. We like it, but maybe not as much as we might like some other names that don't honor him. But we worked hard at it and were satisfied. J called to tell his parents yesterday and...kaboom, the whole thing blew up. Because. Because his father is....*sigh*.

This name is European-sounding, used by lots of folks. Jewish folks. Yiddish folks. German folks. But his dad thought it sounded like a Nazi name, and a small explosion resulted. His dad, no evidence will away him (despite being very into science-based stuff in many other domains).

His mom didn't even notice that it was _basically her father's name_ until it was pointed out a couple hours later. She's one of these people who is oblivious to cognates. "Residence" and "residencia"?! They are related?! How can you tell ?!?! [i actually invented that one, but you see what I mean].

So now they're mad, we're mad, and it's back to the drawing board.

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