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What's in a Name?


What's in a Name?

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Andy Warren
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item What's in a Name?

Andy
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marlon.seton
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When I was younger, people would, when told my first name, often respond with 'As in Brando?'. This is much less common now and if I make the statement myself, when someone looks blankly at me when I've given my name, the response is quite often an even more blank look.

Then there's the problem of people putting an 'a' in my surname. I will spell it and they will come back with the incorrect spelling with an 'a' after the 'e', or sometimes an 'e' after the 'e'.
Gary Varga
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I have a pretty lucky combination. There are not that many people called Gary Varga out there. Thanks Dad for the rare combination of English forename and Hungarian surname. Bit of a pity that it was due to various international issues (look up Hungary and 1956 if you are really interested but briefly my Dad fled alone as a 16 year old in order to avoid the political unrest - you'll get no historical analysis from me unless it is over a few drinks).

This has enabled me a clear brand/image online (these words were used in a previous editorial and proved contentious - I am not trying to open the same can of worms but words fail me this morning). I am the only Gary Varga in IT it appears. There is Gary S Varga who is a lawyer in California, USA. Gary Varga the farmer/agricultural engineer in New South Wales, Australia. There is also a Gary Varga who I believe is a packer at a chemical plant in New Jersey, USA. These are all from memory so there may be more locatable now and the details may be slightly wrong.

This means that anyone attempting to get in contact with Gary Varga are highly likely to get the right one. Having said that I did have to contact the lawyer recently as some very personal and financial emails were sent to my Hotmail account. I can only presume that either there was an assumption regarding his personal Hotmail address or a transposition error. Fortunately for him I was responsible and contacted all who had send him email to my email address to stop doing so and confirmed that I would destroy all emails and their associated attachments. I wonder if they were all so flippant about his email address because they thought his name unique?

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
marlon.seton
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As far as I know, my name is unique. Doing an online search for my name finds only me and people called Marlon but with a different surname at Seton Hall University.
Steph Locke
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I have a three syllable forename and used to have a three syllable surname. There's not enough time in my life to warrant wasting it by speaking or listening to my name in full - steph is fine.

When my husband and I were getting married we decided to pick a new surname for the two of us, not feeling right about taking one or the other and various forms of double-barelling and amalgamations producing funny results. I should perhaps have googled a bit harder though - I went from having the same name as a prominent female programmer in America to having the same name as a wellknown dominatrix in America. Plus side - both really help with a speaking career ;-)
Gary Varga
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My wife was delighted to take my name. She is called Carmel and her maiden name is Shaw so she was C Shaw (for those for whom English is a second language this sounded like seashore i.e. beach). There are many considerations when giving up ones own name such as people will no longer find it as easy locating you (if they only knew you before the name change) or some people find personal identity is an issue. Some even think of it as an outdated misogynistic practice (not an issue for us as we are both quite aware in the equality that we have including when we aren't equal on a practical level).

I am not particularly interested in any of these issues today but I am interested in another one: if a person takes on their partners surname or even changes it to an agreed mutually changed name like Steph (regardless of the legal whys and wherefores), how will this reflect in their professional career? What if they are published?

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
marlon.seton
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Steph Locke (10/28/2013)
I have a three syllable forename and used to have a three syllable surname. There's not enough time in my life to warrant wasting it by speaking or listening to my name in full - steph is fine.

When my husband and I were getting married we decided to pick a new surname for the two of us, not feeling right about taking one or the other and various forms of double-barelling and amalgamations producing funny results. I should perhaps have googled a bit harder though - I went from having the same name as a prominent female programmer in America to having the same name as a wellknown dominatrix in America. Plus side - both really help with a speaking career ;-)


I do hope you get asked to speak about the right thing!
Steph Locke
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marlon.seton (10/28/2013)


I do hope you get asked to speak about the right thing!

Amusingly, my recent work with R has me doing a lot of LaTeX work :-D

Gary Varga (10/28/2013)


I am not particularly interested in any of these issues today but I am interested in another one: if a person takes on their partners surname or even changes it to an agreed mutually changed name like Steph (regardless of the legal whys and wherefores), how will this reflect in their professional career? What if they are published?


I made the point to get married before my career kicked off too much which was easy since my husband and I met when I was 16. The transition to my new name was therefore plannable in line with my career, for instance I ensured when working on Tribal SQL that I put my future name on it since I knew it would take that long to get published. I know a number of people both married and/or divorced who have kept the previous names because, like you say, they have become known under a certain name and didn't want the disruption. If you've gone through a messy divorce then I imagine the surname dilemma is quite significant.
Gary Varga
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Steph Locke (10/28/2013)
...If you've gone through a messy divorce then I imagine the surname dilemma is quite significant.

Nothing to envy regarding divorce. I suppose this can be just another awkward issue and one that could be relevant to anyone's career if they have changed their name or may do.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
mharrison-632391
mharrison-632391
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I'm happy having my name shortened to Mart from Martin. much less formal. It became a problem when I got my Iphone and I signed off emails as Regards, Mart and in the millisecs before I hit the send button the predictive text changed it to Mary. I'm just hoping my new name doesn't stick with the many collegues getting used to seeing messages from her....
Regards,
Mart!
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