There was a farmer had a dog, but which one was named Bingo?

There was a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o. From these words alone (so, without appealing to different versions, translations, likelihoods of names, etc.), is there some way to decide whether the name Bingo applies to the farmer or the dog? I’ve actually met an Irish farmer (nick)named Bingo and a Kiwi … Read more

How to express “Anonymous” when functioning as a proper noun?

Quite a few Chinese novels and movies don’t name the main character (or one of the main characters) as Mike or Alice or any name alike. Instead, he/she is called “无名氏”. In general, 无名氏= anonymous, nameless, unnamed. However, when “无名氏” functions the same as Mike, Alice, etc., how to say it in English? According to … Read more

(The) Putin’s ratings shot up. Is the definite article allowed here?

In a sentence where the definite article precedes someone’s name, as in this example: The war campaign has boosted the Putin’s ratings. could the definite article be used? Would the above example be incorrect, if one desired to preserve the order of words in the sentence and the definite article seemed necessary? Answer You should … Read more

Why do Russian names transliterated into English have unpronounceable ‘k’s before ‘h’s (e.g. ‘Mikhail’ instead of just ‘Mihail’)?

Why can’t it be just ‘Mihail’? I guess the ‘k’ is inserted to ensure correct pronunciation, but I don’t see how ‘Mikhail’ and ‘Mihail’ are pronounced differently. Answer Since the differences in pronunciation have been thoroughly discussed, I’d like to point one the consistency of transliteration. The spelling Mikhail simply follows the common convention “х=kh”. … Read more

How do Americans respond when asked for their names?

I heard a character on TV, when asked for his name, responded: My name is Bond, James Bond. Why doesn’t Mr. 007 reply, “My name is James Bond”. I am not familiar with first/middle/last name concept much, as in my region we have mostly our full names and father/family names at the end. i.e. (Full … Read more