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"It's really much shorter in Siamese" was the modest comment of Kaisui Nimmanahaeminda I G.B., of Chiengmai, Siam, possessor of the longest surname in Harvard University, when questioned about his astounding monicker in his room at the Business School yesterday.
Appropriately enough, the name means "creation of gold" in his native tongue. Siamese is a hybrid of Pali, an Indian dialect, of which the Harvard monopoly is held by Walter E. Clark '03, Wales Professor of Sanscrit and sole upholder of the Department of Indic Philology. The first name, Kaisui, means "good luck".
Slight and scholarly looking, Mr. Nimmanahaeminda expressed surprise that no one in the whole University had a name longer than he. "Why, that's nothing--look at this" he said, holding up a whole page of Siamese script for the interviewer to puruse. "That's the name and titles of King Prajahdipok, former ruler of Siam. A whole page--and mine is a more 15 letters!"
Although admitting that he was no relation to Prajahdipok, who visited the United States in 1933, and just recently abdicated, he professed to be one of his erstwhile loyal subjects. Siam is now ruled by a boy king, Prince Ananda, whose father graduated from Harvard in the class of 1917.
The holder of Cambridge's longest John Henry speaks excellent English although he has only been in this country a year, having studied it extensively as a boy. He transferred to the Business School this year from the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania; says Harvard, strangely enough, is no harder than Penn.
Futher research revealed that competition for the University's shortest name, far from being a walk away, is closely contested. Three candidates from China and one from Hawaii seem to be neck and neck at the amazing total of two letters each. They are, respectively, Y. Ku of Peiping, C. Y. Le of Nanking, P. S. Ou of Kwangsu, and H. K. M. Wu of Honolulu. Although there is probably no basis for awarding the palm to any particular one, Mr. P. S. Ou, by the originality of his cognomen, seems to be predominant.
A stray ramble through the back pages of the University's catalogue turned up some amusing examples of plain and fancy names among the student body. Perhaps most breathtaking is that of H. R. X. d'Aeth, English graduate student from Cambridge University, who spoke as a delegate at the undergraduate part of the Tercentenary last September. For harmonic reciprocity we have Messrs. Ting and Toong of China, for laconic resignation there is I. Pass '40, while B. Schur '40 exhorts all to verify before jumping to conclusions. It's getting to be sinfully weather, too, as A. Schuh '38 will testify.
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