Date: Thu, 2 Mar 1995 07:48:52 -0700
From: Bruce Gelder bgelder[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CAMEL.SIM.ES.COM
Subject: Re: "little" and "jr"
Jacques Villeneuve, whose father, Gilles Villeneuve, was a famous driver (who
died racing), and whose uncle, Jacques Villeneuve, was a slightly less famous
one (who didn't die racing...yet) and still races occasionally. Yet both are
simply known as Jacques Villeneuve--no II or anything else!
franklin college (ind.)
The French equivalents of "Sr." and "Jr." are "pere" (father) and "fils" (son),
and the numbering scheme seems to be fairly rare outside of royalty. It's
not surprising to me that they're not known as "oncle" (uncle) and "neveu"
(nephew), which would be the only real options in this case.
What I find most intriguing about the Sr./Jr. and the I, II, III... systems
is that they seem to be exclusively [+male] designators. I know of no females
to whom equivalent designators have been applied--do any of you? When daughters
are named after their mothers, each of them is simply known by the name given
to them, from what I have observed. Does anyone know a historical or a social
reason for this? For males is it simply a way of keeping score? I'd be
I've also noticed that the I, II, III... system seems to be mainly a [+ upper
class] system, while the Sr./Jr. system seems to be much more widespread.
Does anyone have an explanation for that, too?
bgelder[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]camel.sim.es.com