back to article Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

My name is McLeod. Graham McLeod. If you're looking me up in a list, you'll find me under M as "McLeod, Graham". This is in contrast to "Dabbs, Alistair" – which I understand is now the title of an IT publication. At least it is according to an email I received this week, which began thus: With Dabbs, Alistair​​​ having such …

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  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Happy

    Space, Phil

    GD anyone? Just Phillin up Space?

    signed

    Rusty Shackleford

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Space, Phil

      you'll find me under M as "McLeod, Graham".

      Not in France you won't. No matter how often you insist, you'll be "Graham Mc Leod" and filed under L. You get used to it after a while...

    2. I3N
      Pint

      Re: Space, Phil

      So since I can't add multiple up votes for the KOTH reference ... I'll have multiple Alamos ....

  2. Alister Silver badge

    Silly first name.

    I was christened Alastair, but quickly gave up on the idea that anybody - even immediate family - would ever spell it correctly. Birthday cards over the years have been written to any number of variants, so I can probably claim at least 20 pseudonyms.

    I have never frequented Starbucks, but were I ever to attempt transactions with one of their baristas, I think I would just accept defeat and go for Fred. Let's see them mess that up!

    Oh and did one of your cups say Avast - that's some serious mangling of Alistair!

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Silly first name.

      Have you seen the Billy Connolly sketch where he talks about doing an autograph for someone called Alasdair (the Gaelic spelling before anyone thinks I work at Starbucks....) and how Alasdairs always spell it for you? Very amusing.

      Almost as amusing is the variations you see on Siobhan or any other Gaelic or Irish name.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: variations you see on Siobhan or any other Gaelic or Irish name

        Never mind the ones with mh, dh, bh etc, even relatives spelling Síle is good for a laugh.

        Hebrew can be fun too. Mispronounce Aaron and it's a wardrobe.

        Some surnames in Iraq, Syria and Iran were first names of Akkadians and Sumerians, very very long ago.

        I find USA names and spelling amusing. Colleen = little girl (-een is a diminutive). Kerry is a place. Shaun or Shawn is Sean, or Seán or Séan. Irish was written the same way for over a 1000 years while pronunciation changed, so Seaghán might have been original spelling, though Donal (Donall) might be a 2,500 years old name.

        1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          Re: variations you see on Siobhan or any other Gaelic or Irish name

          I find USA names and spelling amusing.

          My father's first name is Robin, which caused no end of fun when we moved from Blighty to the US, where Robin is almost exclusively a girl's name.

          But in the context of Irish names, nobody mentioned the other one that causes fun: Niamh. "Proper" pronunciation is as if spelled "Neeve" in Anglish spelling conventions. More common pronunciation outside Ireland is more like "Nee-am" with nobody quite sure what to do with the "h" at the end.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: variations you see on Siobhan or any other Gaelic or Irish name

            Well it's your own fault

            My Name Contains 7 Silent Letters

          2. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: variations you see on Siobhan or any other Gaelic or Irish name

            nobody quite sure what to do with the "h" at the end.

            Leinster people, meanwhile aren't sure what to do with any 'H'

      2. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: Silly first name.

        All spellings of Alistair are gaelic: the name is gaelic for Alexander. Hence my Starbucks name is now Alex, which every barista can spell flawlessly. It still amazes me that Aleister Crowley chose the name deliberately to create an air of mystique. His first name was Edward.

        1. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Silly first name.

          "Hence my Starbucks name is now Alex, which every barista can spell flawlessly."

          You mean they never spell it Alix, preferably with a heart over the "i" in place of a dot? They must really like you.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Silly first name.

            My Starbucks name is "Tex". Good job no-one there asks for a surname to go with that... I'd answer "Piss".

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Silly first name.

              My Starbucks name is "Tex". Good job no-one there asks for a surname to go with that... I'd answer "Piss".

              You could say 'Message' as your surname for Tex :)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Silly first name.

              I'm Wayne Kerr.

        2. Mage Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Silly first name.

          Alexander maybe properly Eskandar?

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: Silly first name.

            Alexander maybe properly Eskandar?

            Only if you're aboard the Argo/Yamato trying to save Earth/Japan from the villainous Gamilons/Americans.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Blazers

            (For just how crazy the original idea was, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ten-Go)

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. scotchonrocks

        Re: Silly first name.

        Indeed... Alasdair... They got their noses up their airses

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Silly first name.

      Starbucks being Starbucks - expect your drinks wrote out to: Fredd, Fraud, Frad, Glen, etc...

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Silly first name.

        I despair. How can you not know how to spell Alistair, or Siobhan? Now with Iain Thompson, I could understand when people ask one I or 2? I've met enough Iains in my time to know to ask. But Alistair?

        I guess it just goes to show the poor state of education, at least among Starbucks' employees.

        You just need to listen to how it is pronounced, Alistair, Alastair etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Silly first name.

          You just need to listen to how it is pronounced, Alistair, Alastair etc.

          Haha, I love it. You now assume people *pronounce* it correctly.

          Allow me to upvote you for humour :).

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Silly first name.

            I suppose if you are giving your name when ordering coffee, and not ordering for someone else or using another name to track junk mail you maybe pronounce is correctly, unless you really need the coffee to sober up..

            Reminds me of a bit of schtik from Stargate Atlantis,

            'Graydon, are you sure?'

            'Yes, it's my name.'

        2. Franco Silver badge

          Re: Silly first name.

          "You just need to listen to how it is pronounced, Alistair, Alastair etc."

          Yeah, try explaining to an American that Stuart is a Scottish name and therefore I am more qualified than they are to know that it is categorically NOT pronounced Stoo-art or for that matter spelt Stewart if it's being used as a first name.

          1. Test Man

            Re: Silly first name.

            Irish names - try

            Caoilainn not Kaylyn

            Caoibhe not Keeva

            Aoibhinn not Aveen

            Aoife not Eva

            Seána not Shawna, Shona,etc.

            1. Alistair Dabbs

              Re: Silly first name.

              So-called gaelic spellings = affectation. I have no problem with that but recognise it for what it is: play-acting at being ethnic. It's no different than spelling your name in emoji. As for pronunciation, who cares? If Americans say Stooart, all the better! My in-laws address me as Aleess-tear. I pronounce my own name as Allister.

              1. joeW

                Re: Silly first name.

                "So-called gaelic spellings = affectation"

                Spoken like a true sassanach!

                1. Nick Kew Silver badge

                  Re: Silly first name.

                  Spoken like a true sassanach!

                  Oy! That's enough anti-sassenach hate-speech. We're not all like that!

                  That french sexologist is clearly a canard. As is so much more of this Dabbling.

                2. Chris G Silver badge

                  Re: Silly first name.

                  Why should English speakers who are not Scots or Irish and don't speak Gaelic, know how to spell the name using Gaelic spelling rules or know how to pronounce a name written by the Gaelic rules?

                  Or are we all obliged to us Cyrillic when using a Greek or Russian name, or pin yin when communicating with a Chinese person .

                  I live in Spain name of Chris is almost never used but lengthened to Christian, which I am emphatically not, generally I will ansewr to anything that is not rude.

                  1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                    Re: Silly first name.

                    Or are we all obliged to us Cyrillic when using a Greek or Russian name, or pin yin when communicating with a Chinese person .

                    Not sure you'll find many Greek names written in Cyrillic, which is the writing system introduced to Russian-speakers by Saint Cyril in the 5th Century, and is both similar to, and quite different from, the Greek alphabet.

                  2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                    Re: Silly first name.

                    "Why should English speakers who are not Scots or Irish and don't speak Gaelic, know how to spell the name using Gaelic spelling rules or know how to pronounce a name written by the Gaelic rules?"

                    Perhaps because Northern Ireland is still part of the UK? You know, the same fucking country that they live in -- for the time being?

                    I sympathise, since I grew up in England and my first exposure to names spelled according to Irish conventions was definitely in adulthood. However, that ought to be considered an over-sheltered and deprived childhood, not "just the same as everyone else".

                    Either that, or we on the Eastern Island should just accept that we don't give two fucks about those on the Western Island and, in consequence, stop pretending that there is no border in the Irish Sea.

                    1. Andy A

                      Re: Silly first name.

                      I've never understood why the spellings used for the same sounds in English, Welsh and the various Gaelics ended up being different.

                      After all, the people who first wrote them down - probably monks - would all have had the same type of education.

                3. Russell Chapman Esq.

                  Re: Silly first name.

                  I'm a sassanach too. It was a term used by the Highland clans about anybody, including the Lowland clans who lived further south. I'm clan Hamilton and Paterson on my mother's side.

                  1. joeW

                    Re: Silly first name.

                    "It was a term used by the Highland clans about anybody"

                    Be that as it may, the root of the word is from the gaelic for "Saxon" and it means "English".

                    Which has lead to one of the more amusing new Irish words in recent years, "Sasamach" (Brexit) - which sounds almost identical to "Sasanach" (English) but is also portmanteau of "Sasana" (England) and "Amach" (out).

                    1. Russell Chapman Esq.

                      Re: Silly first name.

                      Portmanteau, a wonderful word. Still remember my mother dealing with a rather large man who was being less than gentlemanly, she told him he was carrying an oversized portmanteau

                  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                    Re: Silly first name.

                    "I'm a sassanach too. It was a term used by the Highland clans about anybody"

                    And a failed attempt to pronounce "Saxon". Applied by both Scots and Welsh even if the ethnicity of the person being spoken about was Anglian.

                    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                      Re: Silly first name.

                      And a failed attempt to pronounce "Saxon". Applied by both Scots and Welsh even if the ethnicity of the person being spoken about was Anglian.

                      And with all likelihood the political vision they found annoying was brought in by the Normans.

                  3. Nick Kew Silver badge

                    @Russell Chapman

                    Thanks for that explanation. Sounds like one of those words whose meaning evolves. Like "frogs" (from the Parisian coat of arms), or various others that would likely get me banned if posted here.

                4. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: Silly first name.

                "I pronounce my own name as Allister."

                Have you tried 'Dare, Alice' as your weekend pseudonym?

              3. Mage Silver badge

                Re: Silly first name.

                Depends on your ethnicity. Many Scots, Welsh, Irish, Manx, Cornish, Bretons and some guys on north coast of Spain may have a different viewpoint. Also pronounce the same spelling differently, validly. Or have different spelling for the SAME pronunciation. (Mind your Ps & Qs might refer to old Welsh ( Map -> ap) and old Irish (Maq - mac)).

                Most people are given their names by parents, for better or worse, and for diverse reasons. SOME parents might have been playing at being ethnic. Some ARE non-English ethnicity.

                There are other people like the infamous John Stevenson (much later alias Seán Mac Stíofáin), who re-enforced his play acting with guns and bombs.

              4. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Silly first name.

              Irish names - try

              And then there are the Americans who think Caitlin is pronounced Kate Lynn

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Silly first name.

                "And then there are the Americans who think Caitlin is pronounced Kate Lynn"

                Years ago woking in the US with some colleagues from france. During an office move we were amused to hear one of the removal people shout to another "do you know which office this Jean Mary woman is moving to"

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

              3. ChrisBedford

                Re: Silly first name.

                And then there are the Americans who think Caitlin is pronounced Kate Lynn

                It is. It's pronounced any way you like. It's pure snobbery to judge people (Americans, or others) whose culture doesn't include speaking Gaelic for not pronouncing Gaelic names "correctly". Just get over it.

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Silly first name.

                "Irish names - try

                And then there are the Americans who think Caitlin is pronounced Kate Lynn"

                But how the hell would they ever know it was pronouned "Cash-Leen"

            3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Silly first name.

              ...

              Gráinne not Gronnyer

              Cliona not Cleaner

              ...

              Aren't Gaelic names fun?

              1. Test Man

                Re: Silly first name.

                "Cliona not Cleaner"

                I was also going to say that! But the person I know who goes by this name spells it Clidna.

                1. Waseem Alkurdi

                  Re: Silly first name.

                  @Mage

                  Alexander maybe properly Eskandar?

                  In Arabic, Alexander reads as "Eskandar", too.

                  Now, off for some Google-work!

                  1. Jonathan Richards 1
                    Go

                    Re: Silly first name.

                    You can see how Alexander => Al-Iskhandar when morphed from Greek to Arabic (and then transliterated back!). A bit as if the Italian statesman were to be morphed by the Scots into McHeyavelly.

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