Fun Facts1.Naming a child is not an easy process and something is certainly to be said for creativity. Some countries, though, outlaw not just the ridiculous names, but the reasonable as well. Take a country like Germany, for instance. German custom mandates that you must be able to tell the gender of the child by the first name and the name chosen must not negatively affect the well-being of the child. Names are decided on by the office of vital statistics in the area which the child was born. If the office rejects your chosen name, you may appeal, but will have to pay a fee each time you submit a new name.
Denmark takes the process a step further by requiring parents to choose from a list of 7,000 pre-approved names. If parents in Denmark want to choose a name not on the list, they must get special permission from their church and have it reviewed by the government. Danish law also necessitates a showing of gender and generally rejects 15-20 percent of the 1,000 or so names they review a year.
Some rejected names in Denmark are Anus, Pluto and Monkey. Some acceptable names not on the list of 7,000 are Benji, Jiminico, Molli and Fee.
2.The Hawaiian language used to be an oral tradition. Before Western influence spread to Hawaii, the people had no written language save for petroglyph symbols. The Hawaiian alphabet is known as piapa and was first developed by Protestant missionaries in the nineteenth century.
The Protestants could not spread the word without some form of written language so they had to standardize the native lingo and teach the locals how to read and write the same. They managed to do this in the year 1826, and the bible too was published.
The modern Hawaiian alphabet is made up of 12 letters in total – 7 consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w) and the usual 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u). Hawaiian words only end in vowels, and every consonant is followed by a vowel. Pronunciation is made easier by breaking up words and consonants said just like in English.
3.Ahem…here we go again…A significant number of people often mistakenly use the word irregardless when they mean ‘regardless’. Regardless means ‘without regard’ – regard less. Take an example: Floyd Mayweather will batter Manny Pacquiao regardless of the venue of the bout.
There is another negative prefix – ir –that is used to denote the negative form of a word, and if you go ahead to add it to an already negative word like regardless, what you are doing is making the word a double negative. As such, irregardless can be interpreted to mean ‘without without regard’.
The language doyens hold the view that irregardless stems from a blend of words: regardless and irrespective. They add that another reason people may want to use it is that they follow the pattern of other such words as irreplaceable or irregular.
Some dictionaries have gone ahead to enlist the word as an English word, and these include the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary and even the mother of them all – the Oxford English Dictionary. However, they do note that this word is considered non-standard. In dictionary lingo, this is another way of admitting a word is in common use, but it’s not really a proper word. Other such words include the likes of ‘ain’t’, and ‘conversate’. So, let’s just say irregardless is not a proper word but some dictionaries recognize it due to its popularity with the unenlightened hoi polloi.