In China, where almost 90 per cent of the population has one of just 129 surnames, it is difficult to stand out from the crowd.
However, if one couple have their way, their child will be able consider itself a true individual by having "@", the symbol used in email addresses, as its given name.
The name application was cited by a government official as one of many off-beat requests as parents attempted to counter the traditional naming methods that have led to such conformity.
Li Yuming, of the state language commission, said the couple argued that "the whole world uses '@' to write emails" and that translated it sounded like "love him" in Mandarin.
Mr Li did not say whether the police, who were the arbiters of names because they issued identity cards, rejected baby "@" and others, but last year there were 60 million people who had "unfamiliar characters" in their names.
Friday, August 17, 2007
But what will his e-mail address look like?
From the Telegraph: