I just read the following article and found it very interesting!
Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys ahead of Jack and Harry
Since 1999 the number of babies called Mohammed, however spelled, has increased by more than half. In 1999 the name was given to 4,579 newborns. Going even further back, the single spelling Mohammed appeared at 73 in the list in 1964 and 87th in 1944.
Some names appeared to have been given a popularity boost by celebrity association. There were 282 boys called Brooklyn, 78 called Romeo and 73 called Cruz – sharing their names with the sons of David and Victoria Beckham.
The top 100 names lists include six new entries for boys: Aiden, Arthur, Frederick, Jude, Stanley and Austin. The girls’ list had just three new entries: Heidi, Mya and Sara.
Big risers were Lucas, up 19 places since 2008 to 17th in the boys list. Archie climbed 11 places to 20 while Noah jumped 13 places to 32.
For girls, Maisie is increasingly popular, up 29 places to 34. However, Emma, which not long ago was among the nation’s favourite names, dropped ten places to become the 41st most common name given to girls.
The figures also revealed the continued resurgence of names popular in the early 20th Century. Evie was the tenth most popular girls name last year, up 157 places since 1999. Ruby has seen a similar rise in popularity – it was not even in the top 100 in the late 1990s. Its return has been linked to the hit song of the same name by the Kaiser Chiefs and Charlotte Church choosing it for her daughter in 2007.
Overall, the popularity of the most common names has changed little, with the top tens for both boys and girls remaining almost identical. There were 706,248 children born in England and Wales last year.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1324194/Mohammed-popular-baby-boys-ahead-Jack-Harry.html#ixzz3KiQ5xnSQ
There could be another reason why some Chinese members use a Western cyber name. In Chinese, some letters or sounds are difficult for non-Chinese speaking people to pronounce, such as zh, q, x, j, ang, eng, ong etc. Some words spelt in Chinese pinyin (phonetic alphabet) look exactly the same as their English or French counterparts, but may have a strange or embarassing meaning in English or French. Take the name Man for example. Man 曼 is an elegant word in Chinese, meaning beautiful and graceful, hence a popular name for girls in China. However, if a young woman's name is Cao Man (Cao is the family name, while Man is the given name), it'd be strange for an English-speaker to hear that she introduces herself by saying "Hello, my is Man. Please call me Man." Likewise, her family name - Cao, when pronounced incorrectly by someone having little knowledge of Chinese, would sound like COW. The correct pronunciation should be /tsau/ in the second tone. I had a former female colleague, whose family name is Cong. For a French-speaking person, Cong would be most probably pronounced as CON. And "con" is a very insulting word in French. Therefore, in order to avoid embarassing situations, some Chinese members may decide use a Western cyber name, which can be easily recoganised and correctly pronounced.
I see. But it's a bit hard to type Su.Ki. with the caps and full stops. LOL!
As to why Chinese members choosing Westner cyber names, I bet the reasons could be half and half as you mentioned. Take myself for example, I chose Rémy because the logo of Rémy Martin is a centaur, and I am a Sagittarius according to the Western zodiac. Besides, I am very interested in languages, as you can see from my posts here. The letter R is really a special one in both the English and the French alphabets. The sound of the French R makes French special. Meanwhile, the R sound is also one of most noticeable differences between RP and GA. Therefore, I'd like to pick up a name starting with R. Furthermore, Rémy is also the name of the lead charaters in Nobody's Child / Sans Famille (it was actually in the more French form as Rémi) and Ratatouille, both I love very much. Hence this cyper/nick/anonymous name for myself.
Both, in a way. It's a 'pet name', which is also made up of the first two letters of my given name and surname.
I see that the majority of Chinese members use Western cyber names - is this for anonymity, or because they're easier for non-Chinese people to cope with?
Many thanks for your correction on the grammar! I will be glad if you can point out any mistake in my writing whenever you see it. This will certainly help me to improve my English. And that's exactly why I am here. I will raise some further questions on the usage of between and among in English Grammar 101. Please then help to further explain.
As to the names, it's clear now. You see, this thread is focusing on names, I was wondering if Su.Ki. is your name or just a cyber name?
Do you mind if I start with a tiny correction? Your question should be
'What are the differences between first name, given name and forename(s)?'
It's a frequent mistake (particularly among Chinese students) to assume that 'between' can only be used to refer to two items, and that 'among' needs to be used when there are three or more. This is not the case. If you are considering each of the three or more elements individually, you need to use 'between' rather than 'among'. The mistake is so common that I wonder if there perhaps a grammar book somewhere in China that is teaching it.
'First name' is used frequently in informal situations, even though it is a little imprecise. Obviously, not all cultures put given names before their surnames, so 'first name' can be misleading. 'Forename' is relatively formal, and used only in documents and forms. However, it is also equally imprecise, as 'fore' means 'first' or 'primary'. Many people in Britain say 'Christian name', but that clearly doesn't cover all names. The term 'Christian name' betrays an extremely narrow-minded world view, needless to say, and should be avoided. Personally, I prefer the American term 'given name', as it is clear, unambiguous and culturally neutral.
And yes, Mrs Thatcher's 'maiden name' was Roberts, just as the Duchess of Cambridge's maiden name was Middleton. It's a rather antiquated-sounding term, but it is still in use.