Иванов Иван Иванович
March 11, 2008 4:59 AM   Subscribe

John Ivan NN Janez Sultano Bērziņš "John Doe" around the world.
posted by mdonley (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Why not just link to the Wikipedia entry they copied?
posted by hjo3 at 5:06 AM on March 11, 2008


The wikipedia entry is interesting, but not a copy.
posted by DU at 5:13 AM on March 11, 2008


The wikipedia entry is interesting, but not a copy.

Really? They list that exact URL as their only source. Seems to me their version is just out of date.

BTW, the entry on Nationmaster has some interesting tidbits, like:
NationMaster uses the content from Wikipedia along with commercial advertisements. For example see [1] and [2]. The site appears to specify more restrictive terms than (and thus be incompatible with) the GNU Free Document License (GFDL) of the original Wikipedia content. For example, see [3].
posted by hjo3 at 5:22 AM on March 11, 2008


Oh, I just spot-checked some countries. Just out of date, indeed.

What are the legal ramifications of a GFDL violation? Presumably none, since AFAIK no GNU stuff has ever been tested in court.
posted by DU at 5:40 AM on March 11, 2008


Yeah, I think you're right. So far offenders have only gotten stern letters.
posted by hjo3 at 6:10 AM on March 11, 2008


Interesting stuff (Faroe Islands: Miðalhampamaður—now there's a username I'd like to see), but it's annoying that all the names are lumped together with only occasional attempts to distinguish legal terms (John Doe) from colloquial ones (Joe Blow); it makes the list a lot less useful than it should be.

Why not just link to the Wikipedia entry they copied?

While morally that would have been the right thing to do, in practice the first half-dozen comments would have been variants on "OMG one link to a Wikipedia entry I'm taking this to MetaTalk!!!"
posted by languagehat at 7:28 AM on March 11, 2008


I wonder why variations on Fulano/Folani are so widespread.
posted by zsazsa at 7:37 AM on March 11, 2008


I had to check wikipedia to understand the China entry anyway, as nationmaster.com for some reason chose not to include the characters.

While I know that some people on this site (yes, languagehat, I'm looking at you) are rather pro-pinyin, it was in no way obvious to me that the shì of Wúmíng Shì (written, correctly I assume, Wú Míngshì on the wiki) was referring to 氏.
posted by klue at 7:47 AM on March 11, 2008


> I wonder why variations on Fulano/Folani are so widespread.

"Fulano, mengano y zutano" is, effectively, "Tom, Dick and Harry" in both Spanish and Portuguese - both languages which have a fairly deep penetration in the countries covered in this list...
posted by benzo8 at 8:02 AM on March 11, 2008


While I know that some people on this site (yes, languagehat, I'm looking at you) are rather pro-pinyin

I don't know where you get that idea; I'm on record as being anti-pinyin—see here ("Reason #61470 why pinyin sucks") and here.

I wonder why variations on Fulano/Folani are so widespread.


Spanish borrowed Arabic Fulan (فلان), as did a bunch of languages used by people of Islamic culture.
posted by languagehat at 8:37 AM on March 11, 2008


As briefly pointed out in the Wikipedia entry, the usage of the "John Does" of different languages differ a bit. While the American term is often used to mean unidentified person (I recall the listing of thirteen Jane Does on the whiteboard in an episode of The Wire), I have only very rearly encountered that kind of usage of the Norwegian equivalent Ola/Kari Nordmann, where it's much more commonly used to describe an unspecified person, as in the all-too ubiquitous commercials:

"Need a telephone number?

Text Tlf Kari Nordmann to [service provider's number]"

Languagehat: I don't know where you get that idea

I got the impression from reading the discussion following this post a while ago. Upon re-reading, It seems you're arguing more against the necessity of Hanzi, rather than being a proponent of pinyin as a particular romanization system to replace it. My apologies for misinterpreting your views.

posted by klue at 9:44 AM on March 11, 2008


No problem. And yeah, I think the Chinese people would be far better off with a romanized writing system, whether pinyin or otherwise, than with the ridiculously complicated characters they've got now.
posted by languagehat at 10:18 AM on March 11, 2008


Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach (American rock band) fame used "J. Doe" as his stage name for his side-project band, Fight The Sky.

"Jacoby Shaddix"? Yeah, I'd want to call myself John Doe too. I'd also want to hide my identity if I was partly responsible for Papa Roach.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:29 PM on March 11, 2008


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