Sunlit Water

July 25, 2007

Orthography

Filed under: Language — by teofilo @ 4:17 pm

I don’t want to pick on Tim Burke specifically because I see this mistake a lot, but I would like to point out that Alberto Gonzales’s last name, in contrast to most other common Hispanic surnames, does not end in z.  I don’t know the reason for this, but I suspect it has something to do with the other z in there.

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15 Comments »

  1. Aren’t there variant correct spellings? I’m sure I’ve met people named Gonzalez as well as Gonzales — it’s a name that I’m afraid of, and double-check the spelling of, for that reason.

    Comment by LizardBreath — July 25, 2007 @ 4:27 pm |Reply

  2. Yes, you see the two-z spelling from time to time, but the s spelling is much more common (as well as being the spelling the AG uses). In the Albuquerque white pages, for instance, there are three pages for Gonzales but less than one page for Gonzalez.

    Comment by teofilo — July 25, 2007 @ 4:33 pm |Reply

  3. People always think my last name is a corruption of something Hispanic, which it doesn’t happen to be. In eighth grade, my sister pointed out that our last name was a good one, though. If we’re alphabetically seated, we’re inevitably in with the Gonzaleses and the Hernandezes, which usually turns out to be a good time.

    Comment by Megan — July 25, 2007 @ 6:45 pm |Reply

  4. That’s odd; I would never have thought your last name was of Hispanic origin.

    True enough on the alphabet, though. You’ve also got the Garcias and the Gomezes and the Floreses and the Holguins and the Hinojosas etc. etc. etc.

    Comment by teofilo — July 25, 2007 @ 11:34 pm |Reply

  5. My friend M/ke Lopes is constantly having his last name spelled with a ‘z’ ending.

    Comment by The Modesto Kid — July 26, 2007 @ 8:11 am |Reply

  6. I’m one of the many who’s had the Hispanic? conversation with Megan, not because I thought so but as a pronunciation guide. And the association comes from the American habit of calling problematic, antagonistic foreign leaders by their first names, if they are at all distinctive. Who can forget the Elder Bush’s—almost wrote Elder Burke’s— use of “Saddam?”

    Comment by I don't pay — July 26, 2007 @ 8:15 am |Reply

  7. Nice to see you, J.

    Comment by I don't pay — July 26, 2007 @ 8:15 am |Reply

  8. I believe “Lopes” is generally a Portuguese spelling.

    Comment by teofilo — July 26, 2007 @ 2:45 pm |Reply

  9. Yes, you see the two-z spelling from time to time, but the s spelling is much more common (as well as being the spelling the AG uses).

    I wonder if this is a regional trend for NM/the Southwest. I’ve encountered the double-z spelling far more often, and, at least in the US, double-z is the more common of the two (38th vs. 94th).

    Comment by Stanley — July 26, 2007 @ 3:02 pm |Reply

  10. Yeah, that’s what people at Unfogged said too. It’s strange; the s spelling really is way more common in NM (I don’t think I’ve ever even met a Gonzalez), and since the AG spells it that way too I just assumed that was the standard everywhere, but apparently not.

    Comment by teofilo — July 26, 2007 @ 3:22 pm |Reply

  11. It would be so much easier if people everywhere just did things the way I’m used to. I keep telling them, and they keep doing things I don’t expect.

    Comment by Megan — July 26, 2007 @ 4:01 pm |Reply

  12. Exactly right as always.

    Comment by teofilo — July 26, 2007 @ 4:05 pm |Reply

  13. Anyway, leaving aside the relative frequency of the two spellings, I believe my point that the Attorney General’s name specifically is spelled with an s stands.

    Comment by teofilo — July 26, 2007 @ 4:29 pm |Reply

  14. Given the amount of lying he’s been doing lately, I would not be so quick to trust him on this one.

    Comment by The Modesto Kid — July 26, 2007 @ 4:56 pm |Reply

  15. There is that, yes.

    Comment by teofilo — July 26, 2007 @ 5:23 pm |Reply


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