Why is it that, in English, when we write a sentence of the form "My name is (name) .", there are no quotes around the name?

Example sentences:
A: My name is Juuitchan.
B: My name is "Juuitchan".
Sentence A seems to state that the writer's name is the (person, place, or other such entity) Juuitchan. Sentence B seems to state that the writer's name is the sequence of nine Roman letters that spell "Juuitchan". So why do we write as in A, and not as in B?
1 2 3 4 5
A: My name is Juuitchan. B: My name is "Juuitchan". Sentence A seems to state that the writer's name is ... of nine Roman letters that spell "Juuitchan". So why do we write as in A, and not as in B?

Conventional English simply does not make these
distinctions. Names are a unique type of noun (and their spelling is almost trivial, although it is a mark of respect to spell a man's name the way he does.)
Case B is not found in ordinary English grammar or linguistics.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
Why is it that, in English, when we write a sentence of the form "My name is (name) ... of nine Roman letters that spell "Juuitchan". So why do we write as in A, and not as in B?

B is logically correct. However, in ordinary English not written by professional logicians, usage is pretty careless about the distinction between use & mention of words. Other languages, too medieval philosophers would say that the name in A is in suppositio formalis , and in B is in suppositio materialis .
Quite a number of childish riddles turn on the resulting ambiguity. For example:
"`Railroad crossing look out for the cars.'
Can you spell that without any R's?"
"Yes: T-H-A-T."
"What is the longest word?"
"`Smiles': There's a `mile' between the two S's."
Joe Fineman (Email Removed)
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Why is it that, in English, when we write a sentence of the form "My name is (name) ... of nine Roman letters that spell "Juuitchan". So why do we write as in A, and not as in B?

Strictly speaking, you are right. It should be as in B. However, it would be tiresome to include quotation-marks every time you write this common phrase, so they are omitted. Isn't the situation the same in Japanese? If one is sensitive to this kind of thing, one can say the quotation-marks are 'understood'.
You would appreciate this, from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll:
Begin quotation "The name of the song is called 'Haddocks' Eyes'!"

"Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, trying to feel interested.
"No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little vexed. "That's what the name is called. The name really is, 'The Aged Aged Man.'"
"Then I ought to have said "That's what the song is called'?" Alice corrected herself.
"No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called 'Ways and Means': but that's only what it is called you know!"

"Well, what is the song then?" said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.
"I was coming to that," the Knight said. "The song really is 'A-sitting on a Gate': and the tune's my own invention." End quotation

Gerald Smyth
Why is it that, in English, when we write a sentence of the form "My name is (name) ... of nine Roman letters that spell "Juuitchan". So why do we write as in A, and not as in B?

Putting it in quotes would indicate that it is what the person is called, rather than what his name is. Remember the White Knight's explaination of what the name of his song was called.

My name is Stephen. I am called "Steve".
A further question, though. Why do some people put question marks at the ends of declarative statements?

Stefano
"How many quotation marks to a metric buttload?"
Why is it that, in English, when we write a ... we write as in A, and not as in B?

Strictly speaking, you are right. It should be as in B. However, it would be tiresome to include quotation-marks every ... that," the Knight said. "The song really is 'A-sitting on a Gate': and the tune's my own invention." End quotation

Commentators on the Alice books have observed that, in order to be strictly logical, the Knight should have followed the words "The song really is" by singing it.
And the tune wasn't his own invention.

Bob Lieblich
Whose face is very like a crow
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hmmm ... interesting point.
Did I get it correct that in the first case you
consider the name to be something like a variable
in a programming language?
Consider that: Henry J. Popular could write:
My name is popular. :-)
Do you know if there are other languages where
you write the "name" in quotes?
Andre
Andre M. Maier filted:
Hmmm ... interesting point. Did I get it correct that in the first case you consider the name to be something like a variable in a programming language? Consider that: Henry J. Popular could write: My name is popular. :-)

Nicklaus Wirth was once asked for his preference when pronouncing his name...he answered that if you called him by reference, it was "veert", but if you called him by value, it was "worth"..r
Why is it that, in English, when we write a sentence of the form "My name is (name) ... of nine Roman letters that spell "Juuitchan". So why do we write as in A, and not as in B?

It is a convention. The convention is shared by all other languages that I know well enough to pass judgement on this question.

Are you by any chance a Lisp programmer?
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more