Monday, 25 June 2007

What's your name and number?

License tags in Sweden are boring. My Ford Ranger has OTJ 353, and I can tolerate it only because the two first letters correspond with my initials. My new (used) Chevvy pickup has an even worse one: LEC 436 – total nonsense. On top of that, our authorities removed all the interesting four-letter-word-combinations (in the language of heroes and great deeds many are spelled with only three) from the start back in -72.

But the system has it's limits. New tags now begin with X. And even if old combinations from scrapped autos are habitually recycled, only y and z remain.

(Readers of Swedish might be aware of that our alphabet does indeed not end at z, but has the additional å, ä and ö, but htat won't help. Å Ä and Ö was excluded from the start, along with capital i and those three-letter four letter words mentioned earlier suchs as KUK, BÖG, MUS, BUS, DÖD, RÖV, LÖK, CIA, IRS, FBI, NFA, NHL, and so on.)

oh, I'm digressing...

What I was aiming at was the fact that someone told me the other day that Chinese authorities – and regular people – are facing a tremendous name problem. Chinese name-laws are strict and in fact only about 1500 surnames are allowed to be used in the Commie State.

Considering that there are 1 300 000 MILLION chinese these days my less than accurate arithmetic tells me there are on average close to one million chinese to each alloted surname.

And that's a LOT of Andersons, if you ask me. . . .

Getting someone's name in the whitepages in Bejing must be a real drag . . . .

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