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On 4 March 2011 17:31, Padraic Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> --- On Fri, 3/4/11, Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > > I had always assumed that French names worked like
> > > English ones with one or
> > > more given names followed by a single family name, but
> > > a Romanian friend
> > > insists that French names work like Romanian names
> > > with the family preceding the given.
> >
> > > Your Romanian friend is simply wrong.
> >
> > No, he is not wrong: he just knows the formal way of doing
> > things. Informally, the order is different.
>
> The question then becomes, is this really a "naming custom" in France
> (formal or otherwise), or simply an expedient of the burocracy in order to
> make it easier to keep records and file papers?
>
>
Definitely a naming custom. It's used in formal settings in speech, and as I
said in letters, even hand-written ones. Maybe it started as a bureaucratic
system to help filing, but it's evolved beyond that.

That said, if I were to introduce myself I would always use the Given,
Family order. That is really the basic word order. The Family, Given word
order is the more restricted one.


> In the US, it is also common for a name to appear with the family name
> preceding the given name(s), but only for matters of alphabetisation. For
> example, on forms and computerised registries.
>
>
In France as well. But this word order is also used in places where no form
or registry is involved.


> That way, all the "Grandires" end up in the same filing cabinet, rather
> than all the "Christophes". I don't consider this alternative order a
> naming custom, though, as much as a filing scheme.
>
>
To give you an idea, I have my diploma in front of me right now, and on the
diploma I am called "Monsieur Grandsire Christophe" (no comma after the
family name). A diploma is a formal paper, so my name is given in the formal
word order there. Nothing to do with filing cabinets or such, the diploma
was printed only for me to keep.
-- 
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/