Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Random Icelandic Fact Of The Day

Who knew:

Iceland has strict naming regulations, and a name that has not before been used in Icelandic must meet the approval of the Naming Committee before it can be used. The Committee assesses whether or not the name meets the grammatical requirements of the complex Icelandic language, which conjugates nouns as well as verbs.
And Icelanders also don't use the same surname system we use - they go the patronym route. And you thought Bjork was the craziest thing out of Iceland.


jvgordon said...

For what it's worth, their lack of surnames forced them to create complicated and well-recorded genealogies. That's turned out to be very helpful for the biotech industry, which can use that data in conjunction with the Icelandic health service's medical records to help deduce which genes cause various genetic disorders. We should all be thankful for the odd choice of Icelanders not to use surnames.

cd said...

According to wikipedia - the generally held notion that the relative geographic isolation (and therefore small population) that supposedly makes them such a great genetic research playground, may be somewhat exagerated. That is to say: there's enough infusion of outside blood to make it less pure a gene pool. I don't think the naming system is as critical as the geography/demography.

But then again, consider the source . . .