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Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 2.01.09 PMThe American Name Society posts onomastic news almost every day!

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Onomastic news includes conference information, calls for papers, information about names, and names in the news.

 

Why Samsung’s name for its personal assistant may twist quite a few tongues

Washington Post reporter Hayley Tsukayama interviews linguists and branding experts about the name of Samsung’s new personal assistant, Bixby. While the name is short and unique, it may pose difficulties for speakers of languages other than English – including Korean! (Samsung is a Korean company.) Bonus: quotes from Laurel Sutton, ANS Information Officer:

Bixby can also be a good brand for Samsung because it doesn’t have many preexisting associations with it, said Laurel Sutton, co-founder of the naming firm Catchword, linguist and information officer for the American Name Society.

Seeking New ANS Officers for 2018

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Ever thought about getting more involved with the American Name Society but did not know how?  Here is your opportunity!  The American Name Society is currently looking for a few good people who are interested in joining the Executive Council.  Starting January 2017, new officers will be needed to fill the positions listed below.

 

To apply for one or more of these positions, please fill out the application form on this page.

 

ANS Treasurer (2018-2020)

The person elected to this position will be responsible for keeping official record of all funds and securities of the Society; giving and keeping receipts for moneys due and payable to the Society; depositing all moneys in the name of the Society; responding to inquiries from annual conference attendees regarding registration payments; and informing the ANS President, the members of the ANS Executive Council, and the general membership about the financial status of the Society via an end-of-the year fiscal report. The ANS Treasurer will work closely with the ANS President, Vice President, and Membership Officer as well as Taylor & Francis, the current publisher of the ANS Journal NAMES. The person elected to this position is expected to have demonstrable accounting experience and competence in using standard spreadsheets programs (e.g., Excel). Applicants for this position must be long-term ANS members in good standing.

 

Member-at-large (2017-2020)

The person elected to this position will serve as a voting member of the Executive Council (EC) and is expected to participate actively in the legislative decision-making involved in resolutions and motions placed before the EC.  In addition to these duties, members-at-large serve on various auxiliary sub-committees to, for example, help with the nomination of new officers, coordination of the annual conference, and organization of allied conferences.  Officers in this position can renew their term of service twice.

 

Allied Conference Coordinator (2018-2020)

The person elected to this position is principally responsible for organizing the ANS session at the annual conference of the Modern Language Association. This activity involves issuing a call for papers, assembling a team of abstract reviewers, selecting three authors whose work will be presented at the MLA conference, and coordinating the presentation of the three winning abstracts with the MLA administration. In addition to these duties, as a voting member of the ANS Executive Council (EC), the Allied Conference Coordinator participates in the legislative decision-making of the Society. Although the term of service for this position is for two years, the holder of this office may be re-elected pending approval by the EC. Given the fact that this position requires close communication with the MLA, candidates who have a demonstrated expertise in literary onomastics will receive preference. Holders of this position are also eligible for election as an ANS Vice President.

 

Coordinator for ANS Facebook Place Names Special Interest Group (2018-2020)

The person elected to this position is principally responsible for managing the ANS Facebook Special Interest Groups (SIGs). There are three ANS SIGs: 1) Personal Names, 2) Literary Names, and 3) Trade Names. For each of one of those SIGs, the coordinator is responsible for stimulating and monitoring discussions between users; regularly posting material of thematic interest; answering queries from the general public; and coordinating an informal gathering in-person during the annual ANS meetings. The people chosen for these positions are expected to have excellent writing skills; be a frequent and enthusiastic Facebook user; and have a demonstrable interest in the thematic area of the relevant SIG. The coordinators of the ANS Facebook SIGs will work closely with one another, the ANS President and Vice President, and the ANS Information Officer.

Call for Papers for the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, New York, NY, January 4-7, 2018

ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference

January 4-7th, 2018 in New York, NY

The American Name Society is inviting abstract proposals for a panel with the literary theme “Literary Wordplay with Names.” Case studies in world literature have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of wordplays in producing puns or highlighting aspects of a narrative. However, comparatively little scholarly attention has been given to examining the names themselves as a rhetorical tool for literary wordplay. Interested authors are encouraged to submit an abstract examining the use of any type of name (e.g., personal names, place names, trade names, etc.) in literary wordplays for any period or genre of literature. Submissions utilizing interdisciplinary approaches are most welcome.

Proposal submission process:

Abstracts proposals of up to 400 words should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Andreas Gavrielatos (a.gavrielatos AT ed.ac.uk)
Proposals should include “MLA proposal” in the subject line of the email.
3. All submissions must include an abstract title, the full name(s) of the author(s), the author affiliation, and email address in the body of the email and NOT with the abstract.
Proposals must be received by 5pm GMT on 11 March 2017. Authors will be notified about results of the blind review on or by 20 March 2017.
5. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers.
6. For further information, please contact Andreas Gavrielatos (a.gavrielatos AT ed.ac.uk).

 

More information about ANS and MLA conferences in available on the Conferences page of this website.

Call for Papers: ANS 2018, Salt Lake City, UT, January 4-7, 2018

The ANS is inviting abstract submissions for the 2018 annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America.  Abstracts in any area of onomastic research are welcome. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is June 30, 2017.  To submit a proposal, simply complete the 2018 Author Information Form.

Please email this completed form to Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins using the following address: drobbins@latech.edu. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2018” in the subject line of your email. Presenters who may need additional time to secure international payments and travel visas to the United States are urged to submit their proposal as soon as possible.

All proposals will be subjected to blind review. Official notification of proposal acceptances will be sent on or before September 30, 2017. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS and need to register with both the ANS and the Linguistic Society of America. Please feel free to contact Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins should you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to receiving your submission!

Call for Papers for the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference, New York, NY, January 4-7, 2018

ANS Panel at the Modern Language Association Conference

January 4-7th, 2018 in New York, NY

The American Name Society is inviting abstract proposals for a panel with the literary theme “Literary Wordplay with Names.” Case studies in world literature have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of wordplays in producing puns or highlighting aspects of a narrative. However, comparatively little scholarly attention has been given to examining the names themselves as a rhetorical tool for literary wordplay. Interested authors are encouraged to submit an abstract examining the use of any type of name (e.g., personal names, place names, trade names, etc.) in literary wordplays for any period or genre of literature. Submissions utilizing interdisciplinary approaches are most welcome.

Proposal submission process:

  1. Abstracts proposals of up to 400 words should be sent as an email attachment (PDF format) to Andreas Gavrielatos (a.gavrielatos@ed.ac.uk)
  2. Proposals should include “MLA proposal” in the subject line of the email.
  3. All submissions must include an abstract title, the full name(s) of the author(s), the author affiliation, and email address in the body of the email and NOT with the abstract.
  4. Proposals must be received by 5pm GMT on 11 March 2017. Authors will be notified about results of the blind review on or by 20 March 2017.
  5. Contributors selected for the thematic panel must be members of both MLA and ANS in order to present their papers.
  6. For further information, please contact Andreas Gavrielatos (a.gavrielatos@ed.ac.uk).

More information about ANS and MLA conferences in available on the Conferences page of this website.

Call for Papers: Special Journal Issue of NAMES devoted to Indigenous Names and Toponyms

The American Name Society (ANS) is issuing its final call for abstracts for an upcoming special issue of the Society’s journal, NAMES.  This issue will be devoted to analysis and discussion of indigenous names and toponyms found in former European colonies in the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Antipodes. Any area of the use of indigenous names may be the subject of analysis. Suggested issues for discussion include, but are by no means limited to the following: the transcription (spelling) of indigenous names and/or determining their meanings, indigenous naming practices, indigenous names as identity markers, the reinstallation of indigenous toponyms, the reclamation of indigenous language and culture through their names, and the appropriation of indigenous names, etc. For more information, see the complete call here.

Proposal Submission Process:

  1. Proposals should include a précis of no more than 500 words and a 50-word biographical sketch of the author including the author’s name, affiliation, onomastic interests, and email.
  2. All submissions must follow the Journal’s official stylistic and grammatical regulations.
  3. Proposals should be sent via email attachment in a .doc or .docx format to Dr. I. M. Nick at <mavi.yaz@web.de>, with “Indigenous Names and Toponyms” in the subject line.
  4. All submissions will be subjected to a blind peer review process.
  5. Notification of acceptance will be announced on or about 31 March, 2017
  6. Final submissions due for publication 31 July, 2017.
  7. For questions, please email Dr. I. M. Nick at <mavi.yaz@web.de>.

Call for Papers: ANS 2018, Salt Lake City, UT, January 4-7, 2018

The ANS is inviting abstract submissions for the 2018 annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America.  Abstracts in any area of onomastic research are welcome. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is June 30, 2017.  To submit a proposal, simply complete the 2018 Author Information Form.

Please email this completed form to Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins using the following address: drobbins@latech.edu. For organizational purposes, please be sure to include the phrase “ANS 2018” in the subject line of your email. Presenters who may need additional time to secure international payments and travel visas to the United States are urged to submit their proposal as soon as possible.

All proposals will be subjected to blind review. Official notification of proposal acceptances will be sent on or before September 30, 2017. All authors whose papers have been accepted must be current members of the ANS and need to register with both the ANS and the Linguistic Society of America. Please feel free to contact Dr. Dorothy Dodge Robbins should you have any questions or concerns.

We look forward to receiving your submission!

Onomastics Outside Academia Panel at ANS 2017 in Austin

ANS 2017 saw the first ever “Onomastics Outside Academia” Panel, in which professional onomasticians talked about their work and their career paths outside of the university.

The panel included the following presentations:

  • Pamela Redmond Satran (Nameberry.com): Nameberry: Revolutionizing how and what parents name their babies
  • Kemp Williams (IBM Corporation): Computational onomastics in threat and fraud detection
  • Lisa Spira (Ethnic Technologies):  Onomastic data skills
  • Laurel Sutton (Catchword Branding): Creating brand names for fun and profit
  • Jennifer Moss (BabyNames.com): How the internet changed baby names (careers)
  • Deborah Walker (Linguistic Consultant): Product naming reviews: Evaluating names for global readiness

Congratulations on a great panel, and many thanks to all of our speakers!

Pamela Redmond Satran

Lisa Spira

 

Jennifer Moss

“Aleppo” Chosen 2016 Name of the Year

“Aleppo” was chosen the Name of the Year for 2016 by the American Name Society at its annual meeting in Austin, Texas on January 6, 2017.

The name of the largest city in Syria, which has endured over four years of conflict in the country’s civil war, has became a symbol for the horrors of modern warfare. It also figured in the presidential election when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson asked an MSNBC interviewer “What is Aleppo?” in response to a question in September, showing he was not paying attention to international news.

Aleppo was also voted Place Name of the Year for 2016.

Aleppo won the vote in a close contest with Drumpf, which was chosen ANS’s Personal Name of the Year. The original German form of President-elect Donald Trump’s family name became well known when John Oliver, host of HBO’s satirical news show “Last Week Tonight,” urged viewers to refer to the candidate as “Drumpf”.  HBO created DonaldDrumpf.com, which still sells “Drumpf” merchandise. The continued use of “Drumpf” shows the power of naming and name-calling.

Hamilton was chosen as Fictional Name of the Year. The title of this hugely popular Broadway musical was in the news in 2016 both because of winning 11 Tony awards, and because of a statement by cast members to Vice-President-elect Pence when he attended a November 18 performance, stating among other things “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”  Donald Trump later demanded an apology for that in a Tweet.

Brexit and Uber tied for ANS’s Trade Name of the Year.  Uber, the worldwide online transportation network company, was cited because of its influence on the language, now having become a verb. Brexit, the blend of “Britain” and “exit” which is the now universal title of the June referendum where United Kingdom voters decided to leave the European Union, was mentioned in the Presidential election when Trump called himself “Mr. Brexit.” The name Brexit was created on the analogy of the earlier Grexit, coined when Greece was deciding whether or not to leave the European Union in 2015.

The American Name Society is a scholarly organization founded in 1951 devoted to studying all aspects of names and naming. The Name of the Year vote has been held since 2004. “Caitlyn Jenner” was the 2015 Name of the Year. “Ferguson” won for 2014, “Francis” for 2013, and “Sandy” for 2012.

For further information contact Dr. Cleveland Evans, chair of the Name of the Year committee, at cevans@bellevue.edu or 402-210-7458.