Tuesday 30 October 2012

1099 HKSAR Name of the Day

Winco Woo Kam-wing, 48-year-old veteran police sergeant who shot himself in the foot (literally), Hong Kong

see Veteran cop shoots himself in foot

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Saturday 27 October 2012

Jeremy Linsanity Lin Seriously Kooky

Cuckoo, cuckoo!!

 Jeremy Lin in Hong Kong. Pic KY Cheng
Hong Kong Linsanity. Pic KY Cheng

"Maybe if three to five things happened, it'd be a coincidence. But for all 13 to happen, that's what I call a miracle"

said Jeremy Linsanity Lin who claims 13 things that had to occur in his life for his meteoric rise to happen is actually the work of a supernatural being.

Lin reminds me of another kooky American-Chinese sports celebrity from a previous generation … Michael Chang


Forget fame and money, only God matters for Lin (SCMP; paywall)
Magical NBA run was all down to 'the big guy in the sky', basketball star tells faithful
Jennifer Cheng
Aug 27, 2012    

Basketball star Jeremy Lin yesterday told the story of his climb out of misery while playing in the Development League to "Linsanity" in the National Basketball Association. But he said he only found emptiness at "the top of the world".

Lin, a Taiwanese-American born and raised in California, plays point guard for the Houston Rockets in the NBA and is visiting Hong Kong. The 24-year-old shared his testimony of faith with a crowd of 10,000 at a private church-organised event yesterday at the AsiaWorld-Expo.

"God's fingerprints are all over my life," he said, listing 13 things that had to occur in his life for his meteoric rise to happen. "Maybe if three to five things happened, it'd be a coincidence. But for all 13 to happen, that's what I call a miracle."

1. Lin's dad moved to the United States from Taiwan, and fell in love with the game of basketball.

2. He was born into an Asian-American family where basketball was a part of his life from birth - which is "very rare".

3. Nearly 2 metres in height, Lin is much taller and heavier than any other relative. His parents are both of unremarkable size.

4. When Lin broke his ankle in high school, he learned humility.

5. He was recruited by Harvard University to play on the basketball team after "God closed the door" on any athletic scholarships, including one at Stanford University that Lin was "begging" for.

6. He didn't get drafted into the NBA after graduating from university.

7. NBA team the Dallas Mavericks offered him a spot on the Summer League team.

8. His Achilles heel was injured but recovered on exactly the day that the league training began.

9. In the league, the Mavericks played against the Washington Wizards, which happened to have the number one pick in the draft.

A Mavericks player was injured and Lin filled in.

10. Fast forward to December 2011. The Houston Rockets picked him up after another team dropped him, but then found they were oversubscribed. After two days of trying in vain to trade other players to make room for Lin, they waived him - or gave him up - on Christmas Day.

11. The New York Knicks picked him up immediately to fill in for Iman Shumpert, who had just injured his knee. If the Rockets had waived him two days before, the Knicks could not have picked him up, as claims must be made in a 48-hour waiver window.

12. This was the time of the NBA lockout, when teams play three back-to-back games, and the last of the three was the game against the New Jersey Nets that sparked Linsanity. Lin was given a chance to play because his teammates were too tired from the non-stop games.

13. Top Knicks' players Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were unavailable and Lin became the team's primary offensive option, which ended up giving him a "magical run".

When Lin first played for the Knicks, a security guard tried to stop him entering the arena, telling him the entrance was for "players only". All that changed, but the joy faded quickly.

"I had the best education, best job, more money than I could ever dream of. I had what the world said was the perfect life, but it wasn't enough."

He told the audience that the big guy in the sky who was with him in "the depths of the D-League" and "the heights of Linsanity" was the only one who could give him satisfaction - something that no amount of fame could.

Lin tells pupils how he chased his dream (SCMP; paywall)
Basketball ace talks of rise from underdog to superstar as he launches charity sport scheme for underprivileged children in Hong Kong
Jennifer Cheng
Aug 25, 2012    

It's not "Linsanity" or the adulation of the fans but the chance to "wake up in the morning with a smile on your face and chase your dream" that is the best part of being basketball superstar Jeremy Lin, he told children at the only public appearance of his Hong Kong trip yesterday.

The Taiwanese-American sensation fielded questions from around 120 primary and secondary school pupils gathered at a Tsim Sha Tsui mall to launch a charity basketball programme for underprivileged children.

Young fans wanted to know every detail of the 24-year-old's underdog story of success, and Lin dished out a nugget of wisdom from his basketball shooting coach: "Every day, you lay brick by brick, baby step by baby step - and then you look back and realise you have something big."

And despite the outbreak of "Linsanity" as he made it big in the National Basketball Association with the New York Knicks, Lin admitted that the past season had been a test of his resilience.

He said the NBA was not what he expected. "The speed and athleticism of the players is something I've never seen before. What you see on TV is the glitz and glamour, but it's tough, it's tiring ... there's lots of travelling. You get to a city at 2 or 3am and play a game [the next day]."

The 1.9-metre star will start next season with the Houston Rockets after the Knicks failed to match the US$28.8 million, four-year deal he was offered to play his basketball in Texas.

One pupil asked how it felt to be subjected to racist remarks for being an Asian-American on court. "I'm naturally stubborn and hard-headed ... don't let people tell you what you can or cannot do," he replied.

Asked what his favourite was of the many puns that have been made out of his surname, he chose "Super Lintendo" - for his love of playing the Super Nintendo games console.

Lin knows what it's like to be an underdog given a chance, and when children volunteered to join the star on stage to play games Lin picked the shy ones.

His most telling gesture was the way he treated seven-year-old Marcus Wong Ching-fong, who waited for four hours to see Lin but was not on the list of pupils registered for the event.

Lin's father saw Marcus and was touched, and made sure the boy would join his son on stage.

"My favourite player is Jeremy Lin ... he beat [Los Angeles Lakers legend] Kobe Bryant," said Marcus, who attends Diocesan Boys' School's primary division. "I want to play in the NBA."

When asked if he felt pressure ahead of the new season, Lin said he would rely on his faith. "When I play for God and Him only, I tend to play better."

Lin has openly proclaimed his Christian faith and will share his "Story behind Linsanity" at a gathering tomorrow organised by the Hong Kong Mandarin Bible Church at AsiaWorld-Expo.

Friday 26 October 2012

1097 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wyss Yim Wai-shu, professor, earth sciences department, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Wednesday 24 October 2012

1096 HKSAR Name of the Day

Carene Chan, mother who took her six-year-old daughter Yvette to Ocean Park, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Deletion

Monday 22 October 2012

1095 HKSAR Name of the Day

Ceajer Chan Ka-keung, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Hong Kong Government, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Saturday 20 October 2012

1094 HKSAR Name of the Day

Zero Ngai Ka-ying (Miss), To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 28 Dec 2010)

see Male version 0571 and Female version 0617 of these zeroes

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Friday 19 October 2012

Squashed by Bodies or Squeezed by Hands?

Better to be squished by crowds below or groped by hands above??

Shocking scenes from the recent Senegal vs Ivory Coast qualifying match for the 2013 African Cup of Nations.

Senegal have subsequently been banned from next year's tournament (despite the fact that they would not have qualified anyway). Is this justice?


Senegal, Ivory Coast qualifier for Africa Cup of Nations abandoned
Monday, 15 October, 2012, 12:00am

Agence France-Presse in Dakar

Ivory Coast fans are evacuated onto the pitch as Senegal supporters go on a rampage at Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar. Photo: AFP

An Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Senegal and Ivory Coast was abandoned after home fans went on a violent rampage as their team slipped towards a humiliating defeat.

Fires were set in the stands while stones, chairs and bottles were thrown at the players after Ivory Coast went 2-0 ahead, 15 minutes from the end of the second leg of the tie.

"After 40 minutes' suspension, the decision was taken to abandon the match," a Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor official said.

Violence erupted after Ivory Coast skipper Didier Drogba, who plays for Shanghai Shenhua after moving from European champions Chelsea, had scored his second goal of the match from the penalty spot.

That made the score 2-0 on the night and 6-2 on aggregate for Ivory Coast, putting them comfortably into the 2013 finals to be staged in South Africa, while eliminating Senegal.

English Premier League champions Manchester City said after the riot that brothers Yaya and Kolo Toure, who play for the Ivory Coast, appeared to escape the trouble unhurt.

"Yaya and Kolo were both involved in the second-leg clash and early reports suggest [they] are unharmed," the club said.

Thursday 18 October 2012

1093 HKSAR Name of the Day

Howie Chun Tak-yau, 25, cadet pilot of a Eurocopter Super Puma AS332 L2 helicopter that ditched into the Shing Mun Reservoir on 27 Dec 2010

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Tuesday 16 October 2012

1092 HKSAR Name of the Day

Magdalen Yum, Mid-Levels, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 27 Dec 2010)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Sunday 14 October 2012

1091 HKSAR Name of the Day

Minnie Poon Kin-kwan, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 27 Dec 2010)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Brand-based like cartoon characters Winnie and Kitty

Friday 12 October 2012

1090 HKSAR Name of the Day

Kady Wong, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 24 Dec 2010)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Wednesday 10 October 2012

1089 HKSAR Name of the Day

Carmen Wong Ka-man, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 10 Dec 2010)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Phonetic-based; somewhat common in Hong Kong

Monday 8 October 2012

1088 HKSAR Name of the Day

Paulus Choy, North Point, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 2 Dec 2010)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Sunday 7 October 2012

Hong Kong Loves Weird English Names

Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle — you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it.

Inquisitive, enterprising and resourceful journalist Joyce Man has written an engaging piece to US readers about "weird" names adopted by Hongkongers (see below and link here).

The comments section below the piece is also enlightening.

Recommended reading to anyone interested in novel names.

Creation and Job-based. Credit: Joyce Man

Hong Kong Loves Weird English Names

Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle — you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it. The former British colony is obsessed with weird English names. Unusual appellations have been found on people of all kinds. The secretary for justice is Rimsky Yuen ...

Declaration: Joyce Man contacted HKSAR Blog for comments to be put in the article.

[Full Text continues ...]

... and the previous secretary for food and health was York Chow. Among celebrities, there is a Fanny Sit, Moses Chan, and Dodo Cheng. Models? We have a Vibeke, Bambi, Dada, and Vonnie. But lawyers take the prize. There is a Magnum, John Baptist, Ludwig, Ignatius, Bunny and four -- yes, four -- Benedicts. 

Odd names make for odder situations. Last July, police arrested a woman named Ice Wong with 460 grams of ice -- the drug, not frozen water. Months earlier, the law caught up with Devil Law when he was brought before a judge for drug possession and crashing his car into a bus. In 2010, a woman called Cash Leung was jailed for paying cabbies with fake cash. 

There are so many examples that one blogger keeps a list titled "HKSAR Name of the Day." HKSAR Blog, which is in its third year running, has almost 2,000 entries in the list.

Linguistics experts say English names, including unusual ones that would not be found in Western English-speaking countries, are becoming more prevalent, though they cannot pinpoint when the trend began.

"There are no signs of abating," said David Li, a professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education's department of linguistics and modern language studies. "There are more and more exotic or unusual names if one cares to collect and document them."

The immigration department, the government body overseeing identification registration, does not compile statistics on categories of names, but a cursory inspection suggests the experts may be right. 

In 2005, the author of HKSAR Blog concluded that the names of 2.5 percent of 5,707 lawyers were unusual, uncommon, or unique. When I recently surveyed the current register of 7,367 lawyers myself, I found the proportion of names matching these descriptions had risen to 6 percent.

To unravel why Hong Kongers would choose to be called Whale or Uriah instead of John or Jane, we must explain why they use English names in the first place.

 In Hong Kong, where English is an official language and international commerce is the bread and butter, adopting an English name often comes naturally. In the early 1980s, before the government started promoting Chinese as the language of instruction, 90 percent of secondary schools taught in English. Some Hong Kongers are given the names by their parents at birth or by their teachers at school. Some devise them themselves. 
The practice goes back to colonial times. "There was a period when it seemed desirable or prestigious to have an English name," said Stephen Matthews, an associate professor of the linguistics department at the University of Hong Kong's school of humanities. "Businessmen would take on English names as a mark of sophistication or to show they did business with foreigners."

 In school, it was easier for English-speaking teachers to remember students' English names than their Chinese ones, Matthews said. And, as Li notes in a 1997 paper, addressing students by their English names was one way to encourage their interest in the language. 

Li writes that English first names served as a "lubricant" to speed up the process of getting acquainted. Chinese forms of address, which are either very formal or overly familiar, do not favor quick rapport-building between strangers.
"In North America or the U.K., people transition to the first-name basis quickly," he said. "We Chinese are not so willing to use given names, which are reserved for people who are really close, like family members."

Matthews estimates that 90 percent of the institution's female and 65 percent of its male students have English first names.

As for the unconventional names, he said they initially arose in part due to an "incomplete knowledge" of the English language. Hong Kongers might have not appreciated the connotation of the name Kinky, for example. Februar might have been a misspelling or the result of someone over-generalizing the use of the names of the months like April, May or June, or both.

Over time, however, people have stopped questioning whether such variations are real names and accepted them. "It started as an inadequate knowledge of English, but if you see an unusual name today, it's because [Hong Kongers] are taking charge of their own language, not because their language abilities are not good," Matthews said. "People feel they can do what they want with English. If you tell Decemb or Februar that theirs are not English names, they'll say, 'I don't care, it belongs to me.' In a way, they're asserting their Hong Kong identity... [The English language in Hong Kong] is no longer a symbol of British influence, but part of people's identity."

 Li said the younger generation has found conventional names less and less attractive and wants to be unique. "I think most such names are driven by a desire to be different."
Hong Kongers tend to shop around for a unique name and sometimes take inspiration from sports brands or luxury labels, for example, Chanel and Rolex, he said.

HKSAR Blog's author said substitution, deletion and the insertion of single letters appeared to be common patterns, which "may indicate a level of 'creation' or 'creativity.'" First names with the -son suffix are common, too. Examples from the lawyers' list include Samuelson, Winson, Philson and Garson.

Many English names mimic the sound of Chinese given names. A solicitor called Tse Kar-son, for example, has Carson as his English name. Singer Lee Hak-kan's English name is Hacken. Another singer, Chan Yik-shun, is called Eason.

Fashion designer Amus Leung's story demonstrates the many forces at work when adopting an English alias. Leung reminded the teacher who named her of the biblical prophet Amos. The teacher cross-bred the name with amuse, which she thought matched Leung's personality and sounded more feminine. "I love my name English name," said Leung. "It is unique and easy to remember. So far I am the only Amus Leung in the world!"

 Ho Wai-leuk, a journalist, got his name another way. "When I was a student, everyone kept saying my Chinese name really fast until it started sounding like 'hoh lok,'" he said referring to the Cantonese pronunciation for Coca-Cola, "so Cola stuck."

It's certainly different from picking a name out of a book. And that's the difference. As Leung's and Ho's stories show, when naming a Hong Konger, a plethora of cultural and linguistic factors are at play. In countries where English is the mother tongue, parents usually choose their children's names from a limited list. As long as Hong Kongers keep getting their names the way they do, Titarians, Heinzes and Yildizes are going to continue dotting the phone book. It's probably for the best. Because when you live in a city where you can meet a Raimundo, Psyche or Schubert at any moment, life is more interesting.

Saturday 6 October 2012

Thursday 4 October 2012

1086 HKSAR Name of the Day

Morty Choi, Tsz Wan Shan, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 3 Jun 2010)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation for females; Rare for males

Tuesday 2 October 2012

1085 HKSAR Name of the Day

Herry Yiu, Sha Tin, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 20 May 2010)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Substitution