8/5/08

Possessives and Attributives


Last Friday, Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty, AOL FanHouse, The Sporting Blog, Ballhype, Hot or Not, WebMD, The Hawk and Tom Morning Show on B93.7 (All the Hits!), and Google.com asked us for our informed thoughts on the necessity of the apostrophe in the name of newest King Donte' Greene. Unsurprisingly, our comments were entirely unusable. We have reproduced them here to show you why.

Tom asked...
Shoals said one of you advanced thinkers had previously lobbied for the continued survival of Donte' Greene's apostrophe. Will either of you admit to the cause? I'm annotating Donte''s name on StR and a paragraph on the import of the apostrophe would be absolutely awesome.

Carter retorted...
Your use of "Donte''s" just made my day. Any world where that's proper punctuation is a world I want to live in. Initially I had slight pangs that I was being guilty of all sorts of, "oh those funny black people and their silly names," (speaking of which, how unintentionally tremendous was that ballhype post a while back), but really I'm just a fan of ridiculously unnecessary punctuation in any context, regardless of racial overtones. So ya, viva the apostrophe. Espn and everyone else needs to get their shit together.


Ty quipped...
If he names his son Donte' Jr, does the family contain two Donte's? This could result in some kind of Abbott and Costello routine that goes a little like this:
Douby: Who's there?
Hawes: The Donte's.
Douby: The Donte's what?
Hawes: The Donte's are there.

It will be the most popular scene in Douby and Hawes Meet Frankenstein.

Carter proffered...
That's the stupidest fucking thing I've ever heard. You can't hear apostrophes.

Ty retaliated...
The conversation takes place by telegram. It's a period piece.


Carter riposted...
Oh ok. That's ok then.

While I'm not sure how an apostrophe can change the pronunciation of a name if it comes after the word, I'm so happy this mission has been left in your [Tom's] capable hands. I don't even know what blog is out there for the Rockets, but I'm sure whoever they are they would have dropped the ball. [Note: Plissken loves The Dream Shake!]

Ty rejoined...
I still think "Dontae' Jones" is better, but someday a parent will use the æ grapheme and sire someone who'll swallow planets whole.

Also, the summer I worked full-time in the Stanford basketball office my friend and made a list of all potential recruits with apostrophes (and we actually got one that year -- Da'Veed Dildy!). I still think "P'Allen" is the greatest name in history.

Tom interrupted the echo chamber...
P'Allen made me spit tea.

I wish someone would write on uncensored version of that chapter on names from Freakonomics.


Ty ignorantly questioned...
What is the Freakonomics chapter about?

Tom enlightened...
How funny names end up attached to kids who don't start off in the best financial/neighborhood situations.

Ty clutched his grad school diploma...
Do they attribute any cause to it?

Carter mixed up three stories...
Wasn't there evidence of external discrimation [sic] based on the fact that names were funny and therefore more likely to be black? Or am I thinking of a separate craigslist experiment that someone did in the same class as the guy who did the point-shaving paper?

Tom actually answered the question...
There was that evidence, but if I remember right (and I'm not sure I do -- that was ages ago) it was small in impact compared to the fact kids with the names tended to be born into dire straits.


I don't remember what they attribute as a cause for the funny naming conventions. I think illiteracy in some cases, and in others that the names aren't funny, and have some (possibly tenuous) connection to African dialects or whatnot.

Wait, how did this thread get so serious? I apologize, sincerely.

Ty failed to see the distinction...
I took Douby and Hawes incredibly seriously.

Carter made things uncomfortable...
Douby Hawes would be a good name. Up there with Sabian Roman. Consider it for a little ziller: Douby Hawes Ziller.

7 comments:

Henry Abbott said...

Big news. Donte Greene's name DOES NOT HAVE an apostrophe in it. That's html mangling an accent. But it's supposed to be an accent, according to the Rockets.

Ty Keenan said...

Thanks for the sad note, Henry. But I have to say part of me thinks that the powers that be are just trying to corporatize the rebellion.

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