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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What's in a name?

In the past, I have been teased or groaned at for having a rather long name. Some of my teachers found my name too long for their convenience when filling up forms (such as examination forms). Even the Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara had to cut my name short so that it'd fit MyKad. All my certificates bear various versions of my actual name. And very seldom do I find people who are able to spell my name right, even when I appear on television or quoted in magazines or newspapers. Heck, even people who quoted me for international publications poked fun at my long name. Don't believe me? Have a look at this.

But you know what, I don't care and it's no big deal. I am proud of the name that my father gave me. The last part of my name "Saifuddeen" means "the sword of the religion." Of course, I don't use the sword, but as the esteemed Tan Sri Professor Dr. Mohd Kamal Hassan once said to me (commenting on the academic stuff I've written over the years), "Your pen is your sword." Having that said to me by a renowned Muslim scholar is indeed a great honour.

And if you think my name is long, how's this for a jaw-dropping trivia. The longest name of a place on this planet is found in Wales. The place is known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll-llantysiliogogogoch which means "The Church of St Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio near a red cave." Click here for more info on the place. Wales, by the way, is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

How's that for a long name?


Pinky said...

We had difficulties registering our new entity's anem recently as it contain 66 characters and ROC only limited us to 44. Had to use abbrevations!

Btw - my son's name is pretty long as well due to his double barreled surname

Kelana said...

I hope your son won't have problems filling up forms in the future.