By any other name

I’m sitting in the Little Cafe Near Home, at my usual table in the corner. Above me on a hook hangs today’s issue of Blesk, a fine example of journalism if ever there was one — if by journalism you mean sensationalistic and lurid stories of sex and celebrity.

On the cover of today’s issue there is a picture of a beautiful woman whose name, apparently, is Alice Bendová.

8 thoughts on “By any other name

  1. Funny thing – was just in there last night. Got a few smiles, even a couple of real ones, but not like that one time. She probably thinks I’m stand-offish.

  2. We all know about the WNBA player from Charlotte or someplace (well, she was Eastern Europian and played in Charlotte or Atlanta) who was named

    Ivana Mandic,


  3. No idea who Ivana Mandic is, except she is probably from one of the former Yugoslavias…oh I get the joke. Except “Mandic” is pronounced “Mandeech.” Lazy Ameks can’t seem to get the accent on the “c.”

  4. I must respectfully disagree with pL on this one. When immigrating to the U.S., one can honor their forebears by keeping pronunciation or spelling. Personally, I think it is wiser to honor by keeping pronunciation. Especially when coming from a land of a different alphabet. Thus, Duke’s famous basketball coach – Mike Kryzkwski (I won’t even bother to try to spell it right) – would be better off if he just cut the shit, and spelled his name Shershefski. Instead his grandfather, or whomever, kept the spelling, and it is very unlikely he has succeeded, since the original alphabet of the last name is probably full of circumflexes and umlauts and bibble-tee-bops that English doesn’t have.

  5. Actually, just a couple of haceks in the right place, and Coach K’s name is immediately pronounceable — in Czech.

    I am reminded of the story, told in Germany probably in the late 19th century, when official surnames were given to families. The officials in charge were apparently not exactly the most upstanding, and they would extort or demand bribes for famlilies, especially Jewish ones, in exchange for registering appealing names. One Jew who had just gone to get a new name was talking to another.

    “What name did you get?” the first one asked.

    “Schweisshund,” the second replied.

    The first man was astonished. “How could you allow them to give you such a base name?” he asked.

    “I didn’t,” the other replied. “I had to pay my entire life’s savings to get that w.”

  6. Alice Bendová is back on the cover of a magazine, and the other day while enjoying a beer in an outdoor garden I got to explain the joke to Jardo, who is learning English.

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