2 of 2
2
Legislating first names
Posted: 10 January 2012 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  333
Joined  2007-02-13

...It’s spelt Raymond Luxury Yacht, but it’s pronounced ‘Throat Warbler Mangrove’...

Names are a tricky subject.  Parents want to have the freedom to name their children however they wish, but on the other hand, the current practice of giving the child an unusual name, and complicating it with a spelling that does not match the pronunciation, does the child a disservice and places unwelcome stress on those who have to deal with that name forever.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2012 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2738
Joined  2007-01-31

OTOH, in the modern age there’s some benefit to having a distinctive name so that internet searching turns up only the person of interest (or at least, only a modest number of namesakes rather than thousands).

I’m fortunate to have a rather rare last name and a first name that is not outré but substantially less common than Bob, Bill, or John.  I think there’s only one other person in the US who shares my first and last name.

edit: corrected typo

[ Edited: 10 January 2012 03:20 PM by Dr. Techie ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2012 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2879
Joined  2007-02-26

I’d bet London to a brick that I am the only person in the world with my first name and last name.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2012 07:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  803
Joined  2007-06-20
OP Tipping - 10 January 2012 02:23 PM

I’d bet London to a brick that I am the only person in the world with my first name and last name.

There are only two other people in the UK with my first name spelling/last name combination, and none in North America, and I’m the only one that comes up in Google searches, but I can never decide if that’s good, or it’s better to be called, eg, David Green. (I know at least three David Greens - how many do you know?) I gave my daughter a rare (but not too outré) first name in large part because I wanted her to stand out from the Ellas and Sophies. Still, what’s commonplace in one place is strange in another: my wife has a first name (Emer, also spelt Eimear) that is in the top 30 or so in Ireland but effectively unheard-of in England, where she is constantly called “Emma”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2012 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3331
Joined  2007-01-29

OTOH, in the modern age there’s some benefit to having a distinctive name so that internet searching turns up only the person of interest (or at least, only a modest number of namesakes rather than thousands).

That depends entirely on whether you want to be easily found via Google.  Many don’t.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2012 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2738
Joined  2007-01-31

Yes, that occurred to me shortly after posting, but I didn’t go back and change it.  Certainly in the academic world it’s usually desirable to be findable and distinguishable (e.g., which of all these paper authored by David Smith did this specific David Smith actually write?).  Of course, even in academia sometimes the desire to be findable goes away (e.g., after the exposure of plagiarism or data fabrication).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2012 10:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4462
Joined  2007-01-03

Yes, when I started writing academic pieces, a cousin in the biz advised me to use “David R. Wilton” on anything I publish to make finding it in bibliographic searches easier.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2012 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1128
Joined  2007-02-14
Dr. Techie - 11 January 2012 09:12 AM

Of course, even in academia sometimes the desire to be findable goes away (e.g., after the exposure of plagiarism or data fabrication).

The obvious lesson being: When plagiarizing only plagiarize from a namesake.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2012 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1880
Joined  2007-02-19

My first name and surname are quite common ---and also happen to be those of a character in one of Alec Guinness’ Ealing Studios comedies. If you enter them into Google search, the first 100 or so entries will be for the movie character. After that, other people of the same name start to turn up. You might find an occasional reference to me after Google entry no. 250 or so. I never thought of adding another initial to my signature on publications.

Who needs fame, anyway? My numerous friends love me (trouble is, one’s been dead these 10 years, and the other has Alzheimer’s disease). 

(subsides into anonymous contemplation of his bottle)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2012 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2879
Joined  2007-02-26

To be honest it is a mixed blessing. When the internet and I were young, I would often use my real name as a username on forums. I am not completely comfortable with the idea of someone Googling me and seeing things I said casually or in jest in the late 90s.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2