Monday, June 30, 2014

There aren't that many trees on the island...

...so where do they get the sticks to put up their butts?
For the 5,000 or so children born in Iceland each year, the committee reportedly receives about 100 applications and rejects about half under a 1996 act aimed mainly at preserving the language of the sagas.

Among its requirements are that given names must be "capable of having Icelandic grammatical endings", may not "conflict with the linguistic structure of Iceland", and should be are "written in accordance with the ordinary rules of Icelandic orthography".
Jeez, lighten up, Finnbjörn.

Is there some law that says that if your culture is limited to resource-poor volcanic islands, it eventually goes loopy and gets into naming laws or tentacle porn?
.

29 comments:

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Nope - no such law.


Our beloved province of Quebec has a language commission, to rule on names and naming. Keeping French a pure language, y' understand.

Gets comical when they try to invent French words for Scottish games (golf, curling).

Provides an ongoing source of derision for the rest of us.

Gerry N. said...

Hey, leave the Icelanders be. They're the most laid back huggingest people on the planet.

But yeah, they're nuts.

TBeck said...

I blame the sulfur dioxide in the aquifer.

staghounds said...

It's easy for us who come from the world's most aggressive culture.

There are only 320,000 Icelanders.

That's Knoxville.

Or less than half of Indianapolis.

They have decided as a group to try to preserve what they consider to be their culture, and names are an important part of it.

How else are they going to preserve the culture than by standing against every incursion?

She's eligible for a British passport, if being called Harriet is so important to her parents. The law predates her birth by eight years.

I liked her immigrant father's comment about avoiding the problem- "But it's a bit late for that, and way too silly," said Cardew. "Are they saying they don't want us here?"

You came there, pal. You flouted the law twice, with each child.

What's Icelandic for "Our house, our rules?"

Bob said...

I actually lived there for a month in the late 1980 while my marriage exploded. I liked the brief vision I had of the place. I find it sort of comforting that a country actually has standards and principles in these permissive times. And although they don't have tentacle porn, the Icelanders do have a dick museum and their very own drink that looks like mouthwash.

Shrimp said...

There's no law---yet. They are working on it.

The Raving Prophet said...

Nitpicky and overreaching? Sure.

But then again, any respite from the ***den and ***lee naming conventions that have infected pregnant women here in the USA does have its appeal.

Tam said...

Actually, we are currently neck-deep in Noahs, for reasons I am entirely unclear on.

Ruth said...

They have similer laws for new technology names. Its kinda cool actually. And I have to agree, if you decided to move there, and make your kids Icelandic citizens, then you have to abide by their rules....

waepnedmann said...

Iceland owns the Worlds Strongest Viking competition and just about owns the Worlds Strongest Man competition except for the Nordic progeny of the Faroes Islands. If you think Iceland I'd devoid of trees due to use as cultural retainment re-enforcement encouragement devices, check out the Faroes...not a tree in sight.

Tam, I would think you would be more sympathetic to the eccentricities of those Viking decent ; I know, in my heart-of-hearts, there are times you want put on your bear-skin shirt, seize up your bearded axe, and head off your very own version of Stamford Bridge.

staghounds said...

Which did not work out so well for the Norwegians.

RevolverRob said...

You do have to love the "Disgusting" "God Bless" together in the same post. Let me pass my judgement on you...but I do hope you find peace and salvation. Someone needs to spend a little more time thinking independently.

I also love the guy who three posts later says, "I would buy a new C96." Right...But would you pay the $4,000 it costs? These are usually the same guys that scoff at the price of a Wilson or Nighthawk 1911 or the price of a Benelli shotgun.

-Rob

Wolfman said...

On the one hand, I understand a drive to maintain a cultural standard- after all, aren't we embroiled in a culture war of our very own? On the other, though, if you are resorting to legal ramifications to do so, that doesn't bode well for your continuing heritage. We gave my son a strong Irish name because we're proud of our heritage, not because the Office of Irish Continuity decreed it. We always say that laws are like forcing someone at gunpoint to do (X) and following naming conventions don't satisfy my prerequisites for that atall.

Kristophr said...

If they want Icelandic middle names, they should hold a bake sale to raise funds to pay parents to inflict Icelandic middle names on kids.

This can be done without putting a gun to anyone's head. Let the cultural purist bribe people to do what they want, hopefully without taxing people to pay for it.

Matt said...

My uncle was stationed there n the 60's, with the U.S. Marines. He did his best to inject a different culture into the local population. It's how I wound up with a cool Icelandish Aunt and three cousins. There country, their rules, but it is still okay to make fun of it.

Will said...

I seem to recall the French have a similar naming law. They have a list of names to pick from, and deviation from it means your kid is not allowed to attend public schools. It's a short list, too.

wheelgun said...

I think Mexico has an even more Draconian naming law....

Scott J said...

All this talk of Iceland has brought this old "Car and Driver" article to mind.

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/warning-vikings-at-play

Sidheshooter said...

Ask any school teacher about the obnoxious cavalcade of special snowflake names--many of them unpronounceable piles of squeezed vowels--beleaguering CONUS schools over the last 15 years, and Iceland starts to make sense.

Of course, we are talking about a country that kept the failed experiment of probation partially on the front burner until 1989, with the resultant national holiday "Beer Day". Watching all those John Hughes and first-gen Schwarzenegger vehicles without a beer in your hand had to make the legislators cranky.

Bubblehead Les. said...

You gotta love all those Western Europeans who keep looking down their Noses at "Foreigners," as if we were the Barbarians they Hired to clean their Toilets. Yeah, I know the kids are Half-British, but it's the Snobbishness-at-Play here that I'm complaining about. This Iceland Naming thing is just a Symptom of how the EU is a Freaking Joke when it comes to "International Brotherhood." Don't the Germans have some Law that says, no matter how long your Family has lived in Germany, they are not German unless they can prove that they were there when Fredrick the Great was perfecting the Goose-step? And isn't Italy and Spain having to "Step Up" their Border Security because of all the "Undesirables" who keep landing on their Shores like it was Texas? And don't get me started on how the Roma are treated like Freed Slaves in 1867 Mississippi throughout most of the "Enlightened EU."

And yet, we here in America are considered "Uncouth" and "War-Mongerers" and "Psycho Gun Slingers." Screw them. We should pull out all our Troops and let the "Cheese-eating Monkeys" of France try to stop Putin if he decided to build a Home on the Normandy Coast.

global village idiot said...

Everything you need to know about Iceland and how they got that way can be found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A1karl

Goober said...

Wolfman - "Or else I'll kill you" is not a very good method by which anyone should maintain a cultural naming standard, I agree.

And that is, unfortunately, what it all boils down to in the end. Non-compliance leads to fines. Continued non-compliance by refusing to pay the fines, to arrest. Non-compliance while being arrested will lead to physical assault. Non-compliance while being physically assaulted will lead to your being killed. The upshot is that if you don't give in an let them win, they'll eventually kill you.

As I've said before, this is why I think national healthcare laws and mandates are so funny, because basically, what they are saying is "buy health insurance, or else we'll kill you!"

The irony in that is so thick that I honestly can't see how anyone could not see it. But a lot of people do not.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand I'm concerned by this curbing of personal freedom but on the other I remember that some idiot in Hollyweird named his son North West.

Al_in_Ottawa

NotClauswitz said...

Maybe they just don't like or wantthe dumbass Hippie-Names that Germans (zum beispiel) give to kids, name-things like "Yoghurt Peacelover" or "Wonderful Trousers" or "Bierkenstok Liebchen"... They get a lot of really weird crap drifting up from the Sub-Baltic central flatlands.

Mike_C said...

I'm torn over this one. On general libertarian principles: Hell no, Iceland! On the other hand, there is a special place in hell for someone who names their kid Shitavious.

Germany also has naming laws. A (male, German) friend called René (as in Descartes, though not named for the philosopher) is fond of relating "My parents had to go to court for my [accent] aigu!" Sure, it was a pain in the ass and governmental over-reach, but the parents prevailed. So far as the Québecois go, don’t get me started on how “Nova Scotia” which is not even horrid culturally imperialistic English but fricking Latin, was unacceptable, requiring the alternate name of “Nouvelle Écosse.” Sheesh.

As for Icelandic eccentricities, in addition to the penis museum, that Bob notes, there is also interesting native cuisine. (Not that I can point fingers: "my people" revere all kinds of horrid crap [e.g. swallow saliva/vomit, er, bird's nest soup, anyone?] as delicacies.)

If the cultural identity thing has anything to do with Iceland's low violent crime rate I'm tentatively on the side of "No, you can't give your kid that goofyass name. I've gotten to know a few Scandinavians* pretty well, and when in their cups they will admit (with furtive, guilty looks) that "diversity" and unfettered immigration (by which I mean letting in vast swaths of people who have no desire to assimilate but rather want to turn their new home into a copy of the shithole they escaped from) has not worked out well back in the North.

*I know that Iceland (and Finland) is a Nordic, but not Scandinavian country, but the point remains.

John Richardson said...

It has nothing to do with names. It is all about fish. Cod to be exact.

Given that Dad's a Brit and insists on Brit names for his kids, the Icelanders are taking this as the start of another Cod War and they are sending return fire.

BTW I like the name Harriett. It was the name of my favorite aunt.

Windy Wilson said...

So - John Richarson, are you really Dick Grayson?


The story was that my cousin wasn't going to get her middle name approved in Austria because it wasn't on the list (Bridget), but someone misspelled it so it was on the list (Birgit) .

Shrimp said...

"Actually, we are currently neck-deep in Noahs, for reasons I am entirely unclear on."

It's the start of a new set of biblical plagues. God promised not to flood the whole Earth again (with water), he didn't say nuthin' about Noahs.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a tempest in a teapot to me, but both parties don't have to go all Viking over it!

I also like the name Harriet.

Happy 4th of July, Tam!

Ulises from CA