Chinese State Media Warns People To Stop Calling Themselves Dumbledore
Updated: The original CCTV article this post cites was from a legitimate CCTV-controlled website. In an earlier version we said otherwise.
This week CCTV News, the state-run broadcaster, came up with these tips for any Chinese people considering an English name – one of which is to steer clear of "Dumbledore".
Religious, mythical, and fictional characters such as Vampire, Satan, Medusa, and Edward Cullen are a no-no.
Also on the "no" list are common everyday words that aren't used as names in English, such as Lawyer.
A good way to work out the 'feeling' of a name is to watch a bunch of American movies and sitcoms. They're full of name stereotypes – you'll find the good girls' are all 'Janes', the jock boys are still 'Buds' and the geeks are called 'Sheldon'.
The original article about Chinese people choosing unusual English names came from a site operated and controlled by CCTV. An earlier update to this post said it was from a fake site posing as an official CCTV property.
DJ Clark, a freelance journalist who works for CCTV in Beijing, contacted us to confirm that the article was written by a CCTV journalist as a "lighthearted" piece, designed to be shared to a Western audience.
The website where it appeared, cctvnews.cn, was taken down after the article was published and it remains offline.
Clark said the site will reappear soon when it obtains the relevant licence from the Chinese government.