Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not Enough Names

Too many people, not enough names
BEIJING — He Danhong, a teacher in southern China, was acutely embarrassed to discover that one of her students had the same name as hers. Every day, when she read the roll call in her class, the teacher had to shout out her own name, and her students burst into laughter. Confusion over names is a common problem in China, where the vast majority of people share a mere 100 surnames. There are just too many Wangs and too many Zhangs in the world's most populous country.

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