The familiar strangeness of ancient names and the Law of the public use of Slovene


  • Maja Sunčič Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis, Breg 12, 1000 Ljubljana



ancient names, law, Slovene language, everyday life, public use


The paper discusses the alien or familiar quality of ancient names in the naming of Slovene enterprises in view of the Law of the Public Use of Slovene (LPUS) and a detailed study by Alenka Gložančev. While the law tries to banish all non-Slovene elements from public use with a special focus on the naming of enterprises, it surprisingly overlooks the issue of ancient names in public use, focusing primarily on English ones. Gložančev rightly points out that foreign names represent the key issue for the language-conscious public, whereas other, more important language questions are largely ignored. The LPUS and the study by Gložančev focus on English words and names, which are considered to be highly undesirable despite globalisation and Slovenia's accession to the European Union in May 2004. The use of ancient names, which are by definition foreign, in the naming of enterprises and venues proves to be a much more difficult issue, since ancient names are often dissociated from the context or signify nothing familiar to the consumer. Can it be expected that, in the name of defending the Slovene language and cultural heritage, the restrictions enforced by the LPUS on the use of foreign names will contribute to the disappearance of antiquity from contemporary everyday life?


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6. 12. 2004



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