Random Thoughts

Searching for a Name

... meandering through the telephone directory

Russ Priestley

I was meandering through the new Boston Telephone Directory in search of a name ... did you ever meander ... or in your case, perhaps it would be youander. Anyway, I came across a long list of identical last names, but they were not Smith, Jones, or Johnson. I counted 672 individuals whose last name is Nguyen. (I used a type measuring ruler to save time). You may recall that was the name of South Korea's new president in 1967. Surely, you recall Korea. It's in the Far East, which is nearer by far than the Near East from our West Coast, whereas from our East Coast, the Near East is nearer than the Far East. Any further questions?

It was interesting to note that most of all of the listings had very short first names, many were merely initials. Some examples: Do, Dong, with eight preferring Dung, several Ha, Hai and Ho. I am not on a first name basis with any of these individuals, but I can verify that twenty-one are Hung. Three took John, one Kelly, one each Phil, Roger, and Sam. I suspect these are taken names rather than given names. Also of interest are Thi and No Thi, Yen and the final, Yet.

There was a report from the Far East that I. Ding and U. Dong sponsored the annual Ding Dong Hong Kong Ping Pong Tournament. In the finals, Ping defeated Pong in three sets and won the prize: matching Pink Pearl-handled Ping Pong Paddles.

I digress from my original report ... a chance meeting of two couples on the street. Hai said, "Hi! Ho and Lo." The reply from Lo was, "Hi! Hai and Huy." Then she went on to inquire about their four children, "And how N, L, R, Hue?"


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