Finance startup names itself Nonce, a cryptographic term that is also UK term for child rapists

All the more reason eh?

And some clearly fake/nobody actually does that definitions, but it may give you pause before making shirts for your Cleveland based road construction equipment company that say “I love a good Cleveland Steamroller!” (seriously, don’t look that one up there. My a-hole friend tricked me into that one.)

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Meh, I don’t expect people to know every slang term from a dialect they are unfamiliar with.

Also, the possible homophobic origin of the term makes me think that it might be best if the UK slang meaning fell into disuse.

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Having watched a bunch of British action films and tv sitcoms, I had previously heard of that term.

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The derogatory definition appears now, the other meaning, and Nonce Finance itself crowd out the derogatory meaning but it’s definitely still on the first page of a Google search. That’s a first thing, day one task when you’re preparing a company launch if only to avoid any trademark issue so Nonce Finance are either grossly incompetent or they’re consciously courting a specific demographic that doesn’t care…

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This came as something of a shock to me. As far as I knew, the word existed only in the expression “for the nonce” meaning “for the time being” or “for now.” As a kid (US, 1950s) I would hear it now and then from older people but I haven’t heard it in many years. I was unaware of any alternate meanings good or bad.

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When you hire a linguistics consulting company they do that and more, including checking the meaning in multiple languages, as well as the connotations of the parts of language used in the name. Seems like they skipped hiring a consulting company.

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Very good point.

Pop star Phil Collins has been fooled by producers into wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a fake antipedophilia slogan, “NONCE SENSE”.

That’s got to be the dumbest prank ever. Fool Phil Collins into wearing a shirt, and make celebs even more reluctant to take a stand on anything or help a cause.

Pewdiepie would be proud I guess.

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What are the odds. This’ll be the second time in the past few days that a bb post prompts a reference to A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

“I shall return in a nonce. At most… two nonces.” (Zero Mostel’s character, Pseudolus)

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I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s also the root for the cryptographic term. They’re both single use instances.

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Oh Boy High Quality GIF

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Here’s the full episode.

There’s a wealth of different threads in there. The need to make celebrities actually think, rather than bandwagon jumping on anything which promises publicity, the media hypocrisy around the sexualisation of teens, how issues are emotionally charged rather than examined in the media (“if you define a child as anyone under 30, the rate of sex with children is soaring”), etc.

The Phil Collins section had him literally saying “I’m talking nonce sense” to the camera.

Entire series of Brass Eye is worth a watch.

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It was a useful bit of satire, IMO. The media were full of idiocy at the time in a ‘satanic panic’ kind of way (whilst completely ignoring the abusers in their ranks), to the degree where a mob of fuckwits tried to burn a doctor out of her home because ‘paediatrician’ sounds a bit like ‘paedo’ (I am not making this up even a little bit). Celebrity endorsements against paedohilia are nowadays looked at askance over here in a ‘what are THEY hiding’ kind of way anyhow, given the revelations of the last two decades since The Day Today aired.
(ETA: derp. It was Brass Eye, not The Day Today as above, but they were both great)

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/901723.stm

Also

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/865633.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/848737.stm

Maybe it was where I was living at the time, but there was a feeling that you couldn’t point out the stupidity of how the vigilantes were acting without risking having them accusing you of paedophilia too.

The Moral Panic never left though. Today it is transgender people, and it would not surprise me to find out that some of the TERs were the same people who were marching through housing estates, accusing random people of being paedophiles because they had the same haircut or some other superficial similarity. It is also worth remembering that the newspaper responsible for the paedophilia panic (the News of the World and it’s daily counterpart, the Sun) also used to out trans people and deadname them, and argued that it was in the public interest.

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I’m not surprised that the alternative meaning isn’t well known outside the UK, but at least Nonce Finance got a lot of publicity out of it eh?
I had pretty much the same reaction as when I hear an American talking about their ‘fanny’. I do know what they really mean, but man, does it give wrong associations…

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British English is spoken by about 17% of people who speak English as a first language. That is not insignificant. If you go from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, or from Twatt to Shitterton, most of the people you will meet will assume that nonce=paedophile. This is not a dialect issue, it is a large scale divergence between two or more groups of a language.

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Yes, going with that name wasn’t the smartest thing to do. The feelings of British English speakers should not be ignored or marginalized. And it is usually reasonable to expect a company to do thorough research when it comes to their branding.

However, I don’t feel it’s reasonable to expect individuals to know or look up every possible meaning of a word before using it (this feeling is mostly a reaction to Rob’s assertion that “there are no excuses” for this). Such an expectation seems to me rather similar to linguistic prescriptivism, which I feel can be used as a tool of oppression.

The founder of the company (and, as best as I can tell, the sole employee) is from India. He’s from a different culture, which I feel makes his mistake understandable and excuseable. TBH, it just…doesn’t seem right to me that a person from a country once colonized by the British Empire has been chastised by Brits for a linguistic misunderstanding that really has not caused any harm.

Again, the general British sentiment that it’s not a wise name: that is 100% valid. I totally agree the company’s name needs changing, but I also feel like Arnav Vohra should have been given a bit of a break. I worry that the memes and teasing he’s received could easily lead to xenophobic bullying. Now I absolutely do not believe nor intend to imply Rob or anyone in this thread has engaged in bullying or encouraged bullying—they definitely have not. I just believe cultural misunderstandings should be handled with care and nuance, especially when histories of oppression are involved, and that’s why my personal feeling about the name choice is “meh, no big deal”.

For what it’s worth, I’m not trying to change how you or anyone else feels about this. I don’t think your feelings about it are wrong or invalid—I’m just trying to express how I feel about it.

ETA:

Sorry, I think I originally misunderstood the purpose of your reply, but I now I understand it was to state how it was reductive to describe British English as a dialect. That is a good point, and my word choice was probably not the best. Anyway, apologies for the really long reply that actually had little to do with what you were talking about.

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It’s the opposite of prescriptivism because the problem with the name is 100% based on how the word is actually used. They company didn’t do due diligence.

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