Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Narratives of decline

At the Independent, Colm Henry contemplates the worrisome decline of certain British surnames:
Daft, Cock, Balls, Smeille, death and Shufflebottom, some of the most popular names 100 years ago are facing extinction due the their rude undertones. The study shows that people are changing there inherited family name in favour of a name that has less of a humourous inclination.

By comparing the population of 2008 with the first Census in Britain in 1881, these studies have shown a huge decline in names with suggestible meanings. The use of the name Cock has shrunk by almost 75 per cent and names such as Balls have fallen by almost 50 per cent.
NB bonus point re: linguistic change: misuse of "suggestible" for "suggestive"! This passage is still in need of a sub-edit - I see at least three other errors as well...

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