----- Original Message ----- 
From: "And Rosta" <[log in to unmask]> 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Saturday, March 5, 2011 11:33:39 AM 
Subject: Re: Romance naming practices 

Douglas Koller, On 04/03/2011 21:43: 

> By that criterion, on which you expounded in an earlier post, we have 
> a similar naming practice in English, since in the phone book and on 
> my driver's license and passport, I am Koller Douglas. As Padraic 
> pointed out, clerical usage does not mean that French suddenly 
> becomes like Hungarian or Chinese (or even Géarthnuns) in certain 
> contexts. 

I think there are certain differences. You'd not hear on, say, a formal news broadcast, "The police are looking for Koller Douglas", or even "The police are looking for a certain Koller Douglas" 

If French broadcasts run this way, then I stand corrected and demur. 

or "The police are looking for one Koller Douglas", (in a fascist state that condemns Géarthnuns for degenerate and perverted crimes against euphony, this would be). 

Et tu, And Rosta, my champion? :) a) I never bent Géarthnuns over a table. b) I don't think Géarthnuns is anymore egregious against euphony than German or Russian. It is not vowel-laden, so you will not get the hypnotic effects of, say. Hawaiian. I wonder what an opera in Géarthnuns would sound like (certainly there are German operas, and I think there a few Russian ones knocking about in the attic). And I don't think Tolkien would deem it as "too pretty". Beauty is in the ear of the behearer, of course, but at least as I speak it, it is rather mellifluous. It is not Klingon. Your aesthetics may vary. 

Furthermore, while on an official document you might read or write "NAME: Koller, Douglas", I think that, at least in Britain, that comma is necessary; whereas, the title of Louis Malle's magnificent and harrowing film about Lucien Lacombe is not "Lacombe, Lucien" but rather "Lacombe Lucien". (I just googled to check this commalessness, and find that the French title is indeed commaless but nowadays it has the becommaed title in anglophone markets, tho I think it kept the commaless French version back in the 70s & 80s when I first saw it, because I remember not understanding, until I saw the film itself, that _Lacombe_ 
was a surname rather than an adjective (like 'pauvre' or 'petit' or suchlike).) 

Never seen it. I shall have to check it out. I will concede the comma in the phone book and probably in other files in which I exist, but there is no comma on the driver's license or passport. I was just trying to make a point. While inverted order may occur in French in administrative, official, or clerical situations, I don't think that "Grandsire Christophe" equates with "Tóth Sándor", "Deng Xiaoping", or "Miyazawa Kiichi". We were originally talking about naming customs and not conventions with which names are dealt. I don't think a French mother looked into her baby son's face and thought "Godard Jean-Luc" (par exemple).