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The English Names
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The order of the Chinese names is just the other way round. Chinese family names or surnames go before the given names or forenames. Some English-speaking people have a middle name between their first and last names. The middle name can be considered as the second of a person' s given name or forename. With a middle name, a person can distinguish himself or herself from another person in the family who happens to have the same first name.
Take George Bernard Shaw for example. Bernard is the middle name. Occasionally, a person may have two middle names. In the case of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, who was the former British Prime Minster, Leonard and Spencer are his two middle names. A middle name can be given by the first name of a person's father or mother, or a close relative like the person's uncle or aunt. A middle name can also be given at random, for instance, after a famous person appearing in the newspaper or on television.
In written form, people tend to use the abbreviation of their first and middle names for convenience. But they retain the full form of their family names. The British people usually acronymize their first name, or their first and middle names. For example, Margaret Hilda Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, can be shortened into M. Hilda Thatcher, orM. H. Thatcher in written form. The American people acronymize their middle name only. For example, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th American President, can be called Ronald W. Reagan for short.The second name is a person' s last name, plus the middle name which goes before the last name.
The initials of a person are the set of capital letters, which represent the person' s full name in order. For instance, if a man's full name is John Bernard Robertson, his initials will be J. B. R. And in this case, J. B. R. stands for John Bernard Robertson. A single initial can be the first letter of a person's first name. For example, we may address Mr John Smith as Mr J. Smith in written form, by using the initial of his first name.
His real name is Peter Smith, but he sometimes goes by the alias of John Simpson.
Many writers or authors write under a pen name or a pseudonym which is an assumed name. Its French way of saying is nom de plume. Pen names or pseudonyms are names used or taken by writers instead of their real names. O. Henry is the pen name of William Sydney Porter. Mark Twain is the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. George Eliot is the pen name of Mary Ann Evans. Very often people know the writers by their pen names rather than by their real names.
An English name may denote a person' s social or family background. Sometimes when you first get acquainted with a stranger and know his name, you may guess his background from his name. This is very important in public relations, which may help you to shorten the distance between you and your new acquaintance.
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