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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Re: Silly first name.

Well since even "educated" Americans think Notre Dame is pronounced "Noter Dayme".......

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Re: Silly first name.

Everyone I know here in the US shifts the pronunciation of "Notre Dame" based on which location is being referred to — "Noter Dayme" if it's the American university, "Notra Dahm" for the famed church in Paris.

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Re: Silly first name.

@big_D

Thompson/Thomson?

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Not silly just non Platonic

Don't knock American (US) names. Many were created at Ellis Island by the Immigration inspectors where the qualification was did they vote for the party that selected the Head of the Customs District and most likely Irish of Irish descent. In those good ol' days of cultural sensitivity the reply to "Gimme me your name" which carefully givenwhich would then be entered phonetically as heard by by that particular inspector and meanwhile in another.... One family if separated could end up with multiple surnames and given names were Anglicized at the will of the inspector.

It has been reported as the US descends to anarchy that one person entered her child into the school system as La - a, pronounced Ladasha, so if its Stuart,Stewart, Stwert its of no consequence as WE sink past in time beyond Sam Butler and dictionaries to somewhat codify the language.

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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.'

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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'

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Re: Silly first name.

“ NOT pronounced Stoo-art or for that matter spelt Stewart if it's being used as a first name.”

Ehhh, three people I work with are called Stewart (first name). All spelled that way. I’m also Scottish. It’s never as cut and dry as you think.

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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.

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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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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.

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Re: Silly first name.

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

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Devil

Re: Silly first name.

My name is Iain, spelt the scottish way. It really annoys me when cold callers ask to speak to "Lain". I just say "No" and hang up. I suppose they can't differentiate between a lower case L and and upper case I, because the typeface is a sans-serif one on their screen, and their script is all in lower case (as usually adopted by email clients for some reason).

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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"

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Re: Silly first name.

I have just sent an email this afternoon to my friend Stewart (in Perthshire). I must send a follow up to let him know he has a silly name.

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Joke

Re: Silly first name.

Still a good support at League of Legends

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Pint

Competition time.

Kudos to the barista who managed to mangle your name into the name of an anti-virus software and there's almost an Alexa in there as well. I'll buy a pint for any barista who can misspell Alistair into "Windows NT forever".

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Pint

Re: Competition time.

Avast isn't that far aware from Vista either.

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Re: Competition time.

Or, if you want to try, OS/2.

Ah-lis-teh (dunno, isn't that how it's pronounced in the UK?) -> Oh-es-tuh ?

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Trollface

A different name for every site?

Sadly, after a while it poses similar problems to having a different password for every site. You end up having to keep complex records to remember who you are for sites which you only visit every month or so.

I assume you would end up being Nidea, Ivor on the vast number of sites, and only maintain discreet aliases for the sites you frequent on a weekly basis.

Next up, a password manager upgrades to a full identity manager.

Anonymous because......then again why bother?

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Re: A different name for every site?

It reminds me of Hudson Hawk...

Almond Joy : Almond Joy. Get it? Candy bars. It's better than when we first started out, our code names were diseases. Do you know what it's like being called Chlamydia for a year?

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Trollface

Re: A different name for every site?

Chlamydia is a very nice name for a girl, isn't it? some sort of flower?

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Re: A different name for every site?

"The Carter parents were a quiet and respectable Lancre family who got into a bit of a mix-up when it came to naming their children. First, they had four daughters, who were christened Hope, Chastity, Prudence, and Charity, because naming girls after virtues is an ancient and unremarkable tradition. Then their first son was born and out of some misplaced idea about how this naming business was done he was called Anger Carter, followed later by Jealousy Carter, Bestiality Carter and Covetousness Carter. Life being what it is, Hope turned out to be a depressive, Chastity was enjoying life as a lady of negotiable affection in Ankh-Morpork, Prudence had thirteen children, and Charity expected to get a dollar’s change out of seventy-five pence–whereas the boys had grown into amiable, well-tempered men, and Bestiality Carter was, for example, very kind to animals. "

A wonderful quote on names from Sir Terry...

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Re: A different name for every site?

@iglethal

Yep, I had that in mind too.

My quote "Chlamydia is a very nice name for a girl" is, I'm sure, a Pratchettism, but I'm buggered if I can find it at the moment. I thought it was part of that passage you quoted, but apparently not.

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Re: A different name for every site?

It's actually the generator of it. iglethal's quote is the footnote.

It's Magrat thinking your quote, that predictibly, being Pratchett, he segues off with a footnote.

The best one on names is, to this day, Glod Glodsonsonson.

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Pint

Re: A different name for every site?

"Glod Glodsonsonson."

Thank you for my first out loud laugh moment of the day :)

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Re: A different name for every site?

@ Antonius_Prime

Thank you, I knew it was there somewhere.

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Re: A different name for every site?

I can't quote the names, but I think my favourite bit of name silliness from Sir Terry was the village men in, er, "Wintersmith"? Anyway, they were along the lines of Baker the butcher, Butcher the miller, Miller the carter, Carter the blacksmith, ... you get the idea ;-)

Oh, and the various incarnations of CMOT Dibbler :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A different name for every site?

"Glod Glodsonsonson"

Unless there was a daughter in there so you could get Glod Glodsondotterson.

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Re: A different name for every site?

"because naming girls after virtues is an ancient and unremarkable tradition"

Adam Hills did a very funny piece on this and why it wouldn't work in Australia, working on the assumption that the virtue you name your children after is one you would like them to have. You would end up with sons called "Opening Batsman" and daughters called "Big Tits"

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Re: A different name for every site?

That "prefix your email" thing dosnet work for yahoo,

are they not a big enough player to bother implementing this?

Can someone tell me which ones do? i might change

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Re: A different name for every site?

"You would end up with sons called "Opening Batsman" and daughters called "Big Tits""

Thank you for my second laugh of the day :D

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Re: A different name for every site?

"That "prefix your email" thing dosnet work for yahoo,"

In the settings you should be able to create a single alias, with multiple variations.

For example - base alias = something@yahoo.mail.com

All the variants would then be along the lines of something-<variant>@yahoo.mail.com

You can have *lots* of variants.

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Re: A different name for every site?

@PerlyKing

That was the Morris-Men in Lords and Ladies, although they may also have appeared in Wintersmith - same village anyway.

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Re: A different name for every site?

You would end up with sons called "Opening Batsman" and daughters called "Big Tits"

And this would be a problem, why, exactly?

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TRT
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Re: A different name for every site?

Wasn't there some QI thing about Russian (/ that part of the world roughly) girls being called Power Station and Industrial Tractor Unit or something?

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Re: A different name for every site?

"You end up having to keep complex records to remember who you are for sites which you only visit every month or so."

I wouldn't call KeepasX complex.

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Re: A different name for every site?

It's even worse if your disease name is Buboni Nick Plague.

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Joke

Re: A different name for every site?

On youtube, there's part of a Trevor Noah standup show about Zambia, which includes names like Profanity, Screwdriver, Detective Table, as well as the mechanic with two sons called Brake and Clutch.

(Not linking as it's mildly NSFW)

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Re: A different name for every site?

Moonunit?

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Re: A different name for every site?

@TRT

An acquaintance knew a male Kenyan called Strawberry Bicycle, apparently it was normal for parents to name children after what they liked or aspired to.

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Re: A different name for every site?

Unless there was a daughter in there so you could get Glod Glodsondotterson.

I think the Icelanders actually spell it dóttir. But that wouldn't work because the name is made up from the father's or mother's first name + son / dóttir - so you could have Glod Glodsonsonson whose father was Glodsonson Glod, or you could have Glodetta Glodettadóttir but Glodetta Glodsondóttir tends to imply that Glodetta has had some very significant surgery.

I still think the President with the best name ever was Vigdís Finnbogadóttir in Iceland.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A different name for every site?

You're still using Yahoo for your email? Ya - "almost every single one of our accounts has been hacked multiple times" - hoo? That Yahoo? Just checking...

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Headmaster

Re: A different name for every site?

"A wonderful quote on names from Sir PTerry..."

FTFY.

Surely worthy of the silent 'P' given the subject matter :)

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Re: A different name for every site?

Don't forget P G Wodehouse's character Psmith.

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Re: A different name for every site?

You would end up with sons called "Opening Batsman" and daughters called "Big Tits"

And this would be a problem, why, exactly?

Well, Mavis Altounyan wasn't very fond of it.

(This is my entry for the Obscure Literary Reference Of The Day contest. SAAFE!)

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It's only a matter of time...

... before websites don't even need to know your name, they'll be able to infer your identity from all the other information that's been collected on you over time. Unless we poison the well while there's still time, which is what I hope is what's motivating at least some of the pseudonymous subversion.

Once the false identities are out there, it's amazing how persistent they are. I've been getting insurance quotes addressed to Mr. E. Shopper for years now. Years ago, we set up a fake employee, complete with a DDI and write-only answering service, to whom all unsolicited sales calls were routed. He still gets the occasional e-mail, though the phone calls did eventually dry up...

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Re: It's only a matter of time...

I know a chap who used to use the names of his cats as pseudonyms for email lists. One day, a telemarketer phoned up and was most insistent in wanting to talk to "Tiddles", even after it was explained that Tiddles had not signed up to this new email list for a couple of good reasons.

Firstly, Tiddles was a cat, and secondly Tiddles had died a decade earlier hence was unavailable for comment. Such is the intelligence of telemarketers that these snippets of essential information took quite a while to penetrate.

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Re: It's only a matter of time...

One day, a telemarketer phoned up and was most insistent in wanting to talk to "Tiddles"

"OK, just hold the line and I'll go and call her."

Eventually they might get the message all is not quite as they expected.

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