Language point

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 12:00am

'Don't vote for FPJ,' she says, laughing ... at her slight against ... Fernando Poe Jr.

Western and Chinese names are presented differently. With Chinese names, the surname comes first, followed by the given name, e.g. Chan Tai Man. However, with Western names, the given name comes first, then the surname, e.g. John Peter Smith (John is the first name, Peter the middle name and Smith the surname or last name). Due to the different ways of presentation, Man could easily be mistaken as the surname. Use Chan Tai-man, Tai-man Chan or CHAN Tai Man to avoid confusion.

'Jr' is short for 'junior'. When two people in the same family share the same first name, middle name and surname, 'Jr' is used to refer to the younger one. It is most common among fathers and sons, e.g. the 35th American president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (better known as John F Kennedy or JFK), had a son whose name was also John Fitzgerald Kennedy. To differentiate the two, the son is referred to as John F Kennedy, Jr.