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Subject: Re: [docbook] Rename firstname and surname?

Robin Cover <robin@oasis-open.org>, 2007-08-09 20:51 -0400:

> I spent all of 12 minutes surveying the territory again,
> using online (Wikipedia) sources and other available resources:
> "first" and "sur" don't quite get the job done from a
> multi-cultural POV.

What exactly is wrong with "sur" from a multi-cultural POV?

I agree it seems clear the replacing firstname with givenname
would be an improvement. But it does not seem clear to me that
replacing surname with familyname would.

> Most of the names belonging to living persons (arguably?) don't
> submit to that description.  "given" and "family" come a lot
> closer, if we have to use just two descriptors.

To me, "surname" seems to have the possible advantage over
familyname of not implying anything at all culturally about the
name it is used to mark up other than that it is an additional
name. I realize in practice "surname" and "familyname" are
actually mean used to mean pretty much the same thing, and I guess
that in most cultures the non-givenname is in fact a family name,
but I still don't personally see any compelling case (from a
multi-cultural naming perspective or from any other) in replacing
surname with familyname.



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