2 of 4
2
Christian name
Posted: 31 August 2010 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  236
Joined  2007-02-13

For whatever it is worth, a substantial fraction of “Christian zealots” nowadays practice adult baptism: often to the extent of re-baptizing adult converts who had previously been baptized as infants.  Few, if any, of these traditions include instituting a new name upon baptism.  In consequence, there is little sense of one having a distinctive “Christian name.” It is merely one’s first, or given name.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2010 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  362
Joined  2007-03-05

I grew up saying ‘christian name’ and I can remember wondering ‘what happens if you’re not a christian?’ when I was a kid. My passport, for the record, has Surname/Nom and Given name/Prénom. The least contentious route would seem to be ‘first name’ and ‘family name’. ‘Last name’ could be better, it would encompass cultures that use a patronymic as well as a family name, and the practice among some Sikhs of using Singh or Kaur as a last name instead of their family name, then again ‘last name’ would probably be too ambiguous in practice (think how many wrong ways people can fill in forms) and especially ambiguous for people with names in the Chinese/Japanese tradition.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 September 2010 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  352
Joined  2007-02-13

In consequence, there is little sense of one having a distinctive “Christian name.”

I do have a distinctive Christian name.  Please explain to me why it makes “little sense”.  :-|

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2010 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4698
Joined  2007-01-03

I think the point was that it is rare today for the bestowing of a name to be linked with baptism. One’s given name is given at birth, or even before, not at baptism and is not distinctively “Christian,” even for devout Christians.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 September 2010 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3065
Joined  2007-02-26

Related topic is the use of the term christen, meaning to name, which is still used most broadly in contexts that have nothing to do with Christianity.

http://www.slashgear.com/logitech-revue-with-google-tv-gets-christened-1790218/

http://gizmodo.com/5306679/pentagons-robot-hummingbird-christened-nano-air-vehicle

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 September 2010 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  236
Joined  2007-02-13
Dave Wilton - 04 September 2010 03:27 AM

I think the point was that it is rare today for the bestowing of a name to be linked with baptism. One’s given name is given at birth, or even before, not at baptism and is not distinctively “Christian,” even for devout Christians.

What he said.  Contrast this with the Roman Catholic (and perhaps others) practice (which is not, I am told, universal) of confirmation names.  This would be a logical candidate to be characterized as a “Christian name” but I have never heard it called this.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 September 2010 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  352
Joined  2007-02-13
Richard Hershberger - 07 September 2010 06:38 AM

What he said.  Contrast this with the Roman Catholic (and perhaps others) practice (which is not, I am told, universal) of confirmation names.  This would be a logical candidate to be characterized as a “Christian name” but I have never heard it called this.

What he said is not what you said. I’m Orthodox and the names taken (or given) at Baptism or Chrismation are referred to as Christian names.  And you have still failed to explain why “there is little sense” to have a distinctive Christian name.  I want to know why you think having a distinctive Christian name is stupid.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 September 2010 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3065
Joined  2007-02-26

”. The least contentious route would seem to be ‘first name’ and ‘family name’.”

To my mind the best thing would just be to record someone’s name. For official purposes what does it matter which name is the family name? Many people in Indonesia don’t have a family name, just a series of names each of which is given at birth or adopted later.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 September 2010 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  590
Joined  2007-02-22
donkeyhotay - 03 September 2010 02:02 PM

In consequence, there is little sense of one having a distinctive “Christian name.”

I do have a distinctive Christian name.  Please explain to me why it makes “little sense”.  :-|

donkeyhotay, I think you need to re-parse your quoted passage.  It does not say “there is little sense in having a distinctive Christian name”, it says “there is little sense of one having a distinctive “Christian name.” I.e. nowadays one no longer senses that first names are distinctively Christian, not that distinctive Christian names are stupid.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 September 2010 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  236
Joined  2007-02-13
bayard - 07 September 2010 12:16 PM

donkeyhotay - 03 September 2010 02:02 PM
In consequence, there is little sense of one having a distinctive “Christian name.”

I do have a distinctive Christian name.  Please explain to me why it makes “little sense”.  :-|

donkeyhotay, I think you need to re-parse your quoted passage.  It does not say “there is little sense in having a distinctive Christian name”, it says “there is little sense of one having a distinctive “Christian name.” I.e. nowadays one no longer senses that first names are distinctively Christian, not that distinctive Christian names are stupid.

Upon review, I find that I have essentially repeated what I wrote in my original post.  But somehow the original post has had its context stripped away and its wording altered, bizarrely ending up with the conclusion that I “ think having a distinctive Christian name is stupid.” It would seem that I am not writing clearly enough, but I’m not sure that the level of clarity required is within my modest literary ability.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 September 2010 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  352
Joined  2007-02-13

Yes, bayard correctly understood how I was misreading Richard’s sentence.  As to context:  what I incorrectly understood Richard to say was that because “few, if any” traditions practice the giving of Christian names nowadays, the practice is a senseless one.  I now see that what he meant was that it is a virtually non-existent practice, so one no longer gets the sense that first names are particularly Christian.  Two very different meanings.  I apologize for getting in a huff over nothing.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 September 2010 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  236
Joined  2007-02-13
donkeyhotay - 07 September 2010 01:33 PM

I apologize for getting in a huff over nothing.

De nada. It happens to the best of us.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 September 2010 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  362
Joined  2007-03-05
OP Tipping - 07 September 2010 11:12 AM

“. The least contentious route would seem to be ‘first name’ and ‘family name’.”

To my mind the best thing would just be to record someone’s name. For official purposes what does it matter which name is the family name? Many people in Indonesia don’t have a family name, just a series of names each of which is given at birth or adopted later.

That’s an interesting point now you mention it OP - why do we feel the need to differentiate? I’d surmise that in Western culture it arises from the habit of using title and surname to address a person formally and first/given/christian name to address them informally. I always feel slightly awkward about asking Chinese/Japanese/Korean people which name I should use because some give their names in the traditional order and some in Western order.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 September 2010 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  352
Joined  2007-02-13

I know that my company’s rather antiquated HR system has trouble from time to time dealing with names these days.  We’re getting a lot more employees from different cultures who do not have the nominal first name/last name.  Some have multiple names.  Some have very long names, etc.  The system would probably work better if there were a single NAME field of varying length.  I’ve noticed a trend in this direction on newer systems and websites.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 September 2010 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4698
Joined  2007-01-03

That’s actually not all that helpful. There are many applications for which you must know the employee’s given and family names and be able to differentiate which is which (e.g., government tax forms). A single field doesn’t help. It doesn’t indicate which is the given or family names and generally it just perpetuates the confusion.

An HR system should ideally have four name fields: given name, middle names, last name, given name by which to be informally addressed. They fields should be sufficiently long to accommodate unusual names and multiple names in the middle names field, and the system should not reject entries that do not have a given name.

The informal name is actually quite important. Many Asians in the U.S. (and I assume elsewhere) adopt western given names for casual use.

(And what’s with the propensity for American companies to require a 5-digit numeric zip (postal) code? I can’t tell you the hell I’ve gone through moving to Canada because the damn software systems require a 5-digit numeric zip code to process any transaction. I know, for instance, that AT&T doesn’t provide service outside the US, but I can’t be the first person who has moved out of the country and needs to pay their final bill.)

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 4
2
 
‹‹ Still lifes      sheep stations ››