The Language of Names

The Language of Names

Book - 1997
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Why are we so often annoyed when somebody gets our name wrong? Because our sense of self is involved, and our names touch on every aspect of our lives. Prospective parents pore over baby-naming books, believing that the right choice will set their infant on the right track. Immigrants change their names to assimilate into American society; blacks to recover their African roots or to establish an Islamic identity; movie stars to conform to Hollywood images of WASP-ness, high society, or exoticism. Drawing on social and literary history, psychology and anthropology, anecdotes, and life stories, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Justin Kaplan and celebrated novelist Anne Bernays have created a fascinating account of names and naming in contemporary society that touches on class structure, ethnic and religious practices, manners, and everyday life. Their primary focus is the United States, which from its beginnings has been conspicuously preoccupied with identity, self-definition, and self-invention while sharing the concerns of other societies distant in time and place.
Publisher: New York, NY : Simon & Schuster, 1997
ISBN: 9780684807416
Branch Call Number: 929.4019 KAP
Characteristics: 256 p. ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bernays, Anne


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Dec 27, 2015

Interesting idea, but my brain wants deeper things. The modern and America-centric focus felt limited and shallow.

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