Last Name First, First Name Last!

Finishing this post brought me so much satisfaction that I decided to have it proofread by a friend of mine immediately. He looked at me with a rather cold smile and said, “Yeah, it’s alright, but it’s quite similar to one of your older posts. In fact, it’s exactly the same!” And at that point I realised I had rewritten an article from 9 months ago. It’s 100% the same, have a look! (Excuse the joke, I’m just too busy to write a brand new article right now, so I thought I’d take an old one and give it a better name. Enjoy it, nevertheless!) Continue reading

Mao Zedong’s never-changing name

For most of you, putting your given name after your surname is without rhyme or reason. However, in several countries, including Hungary, this is what normally happens. I always find it hard to explain to a British audience that the consonant cluster between my given name and my surname (which is, of course, placed at the end in the UK), is due to the fact that my original name is “switched”. The problem occurs when they begin to call me by my surname, as “that comes first in Hungary”. At this point I have to let them know that the change is in the order only, not in the role of the two names. Continue reading

Verbal profanity around the world

Did you know that children learn at least one swear word before they learn the alphabet? And that 0,7% of the words we use on a daily basis are swear words? But how is verbal profanity present (or not present) in other cultures? First of all, let’s talk about the amount and diversity of bad words in English and other languages. I was incredibly surprised to learn that the profane vocabulary of an average English-speaker is incredibly basic. Everyone is more or less familiar with those five to ten words that I won’t list in this article, but have you ever realised that putting these words together in many different combinations to create a more diverse rude vocabulary is simply an effective illusion? Believe it or not, if languages were ranked by the diversity of their vocabulary for swearing, English would be in quite a low position. Continue reading