The Corner

Names, Names, Names

Can we just decide to call the Palestinian Authority’s new Prime Minister Abu Mazen or Mohammed Abas? This “sometimes known as Abu Mazen” thing is driving me nuts. Even worse is Mrs. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s name. She, too, like Mohammed Abbas (sometimes, [grumble], known as Abu Mazen), should be given 48 hours to drop at least two of the components of her name or else we discontinue relations with her. The NYT invariably uses here full name in first reference and after that does us the favor of dropping the “Daw,” which apparently is her first name and refers to her as Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi. I strongly recommend that she shorten her name to Daw Kyi. After all, in a country where U Nu got by with a headline writer’s dream name, why can’t Daw Aung San Suu Kyi make this slight accommodation? I’m sure the Prince of Liechstenstein could trot out a dozen middle names but he gets by in public and the press with, simply, “Hans-Adam.” Ditto Queen Elizabeth, etc.

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