Friday, April 10, 2009

Betty Boob

Texas state representative Betty Brown (Republican, of course) thinks Asians should change their names to make it "easier for Americans to deal with" them. You can read about it here. Betty thinks them Chinese names are just too danged complicated. . Betty, dearie, I know you're a dittohead bigot. But try not to be a cultural clod as well. Here, I'll help you. Chinese names are monosyllabic. That means one syllable, Betty. Like Li Ling Wang. Yeah I know, that's three syllables, which strains your Neanderthal brain. But that's actually three names. You have three names too, Betty. You don't have any trouble with them do you? Omigosh, maybe you do. Perhaps that's why you shortened Elizabeth to Betty. . Anyway, just so there's no hard feelings, Betty, the above Chinese character is for you. Have fun figuring it out. With luck, it might even give you a dose of cultural awareness.


Amanda said...

Yay for Texas. I'm so proud to be from this state.

terry said...

where is "Terrell"? that's the district she's from.

Anonymous said...

You know, this is a non-story.

The Chinese already adopt an English name when abroad. They do is as a courtesy, and because the odds of pronouncing a name spelled like a real bad scrabble hand correctly are zero.

Never met a person of Chinese origin without a nice sensible christian name.

Never met one called Terry though. Go figure.


Rick Shawe.

Amanda said...

Terrell, the city, is apparently on the outskirts of Dallas.

We actually saw this on the news last night.

terry said...

Rick, it's not just the Chinese who try to be courteous to Western savages. i work with a Iranian whose name is "Michael" for us Americans, but which is "Mahmood" for his countrymen.

and in two weeks. i get to meet with a Japanese customer who shortens his first name from four syllables to "Neil" for us Yanks. hr'll be taking all sorts of liberties with my poor butt, since we unwittingly sent him slipshod product last December, and all my colleagues are scared to face him.

and in a touch of bloggian irony, the word verification for this is "inglys", which is probably how most Westerneers think the Chinese pronounce our language.

terry said...

Amanda - i'm curious. what was the tone of the news report? the good Ms. Brown claims this is just mudslinging by us bleeding-heart liberals. the reaction by Asian-Americans thus far though seems to be that she's a bigoted b*tch.

Amanda said...

The tone was slightly subtly ironic, but trying to stay as impartial as possible. The news station we watch tends to be good at presenting everything neutrally, but it seemed like the newscasters were hiding their this-is-so-ridiculous smiles with difficulty.

I know how to pronounce Mahmood. It's a very pretty name.

terry said...

yeah, i think the reason for Mahmood's name-change isn't so much about calling us idiots who can't remember a name. it's more about having to work in a world where the average American thinks that every Persian is a militant Islamist. which in a way is even sadder.