Monday, April 11, 2005

What's Slartibartfast in Estonian?

In a bizzare ruling, the childlike Estonian Government have banned silly names. According to the Baltic Times, the students took time off their busy schedule governing their country to "make the Estonian name landscape more transparent". They believe that this wil stop playground bullying(?) and defend Estonian Culture. OK so is Tiit Tammsaar
(male) is pretty daft, as is Lembit (female), but no reason for bullying.

It gets madder,
"The law further stipulates that a person can change his or her name only once, unless there is a significant reason for doing so. But it is illegal to change one’s surname to one of the 239 widespread Estonian last names, such as Sepp, which is carried by 500 residents.

According to Kersti Hiedel, advisor to the Ministry of the Interior’s population affairs bureau, this amendment resulted from the legislator’s wish to diversify Estonian surnames".

Now I understand to increase the genetic base for a population - don't want children with one too few heads for example but this I just don't get.

"it is now illegal to have a name with “improper” linguistic meaning in the Estonian language, such as Aita Leida Kuusepuu (Estonian for ‘help find a Christmas tree’)."

They really should go out a bit more in Tallinn. I understand they have a similar law governing place names.

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