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[Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?

by monsieur_champs (Curate)
on May 14, 2006 at 15:14 UTC ( #549324=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
monsieur_champs has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I was talking to a friend today, about the Learning Perl book and he asked me why is brian d foy name allways writen in lower case trought all the book (and on Wikipedia also!!!). I'm really curious about this, and would love to read the wisdom from the ancient monks from this noble monastery. Anyone have a convincing explanation for this?

Mr brian d foy, please answer this post in black-background, so everybody have his/her own chance to explain why your name is writen brian d foy and not Brian D'Foy, or something like.

Comment on [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by kudra (Vicar) on May 14, 2006 at 15:37 UTC
    "Humanity I love you because when you're hard up you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink." - e. e. cummings
Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by dws (Chancellor) on May 14, 2006 at 16:13 UTC

    Mr brian d foy, please answer this post in black-background, so everybody have his/her own chance to explain why your name

    Looking at this, I can't help thinking that a private email--or a bit of research--would have been more appropriate here than asking someone to explain themselves in public and then inviting the public to comment.

Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by merlyn (Sage) on May 14, 2006 at 16:28 UTC

      Technically, that's a "how" not a "why" ... I, too, am curious as to why some people feel the need to not follow the conventions of the language that they use in things like their name, so I'd love to hear brian_d_foy's reason. (I've googled a bit, but haven't found one beyond "it's my preference" - which isn't a reason, either, IMO - at least not a justification I can wrap my head around.)

      As an example, I once worked with a guy who went by the name "Tarver" - a nickname he adopted when he was younger, largely because, as a Polish person living in Canada, with a very, very Polish name (both given and family) that no one here could pronounce, he actually was trying to do the rest of us Canucks a favour by using a name we could handle. Then, to allow him to actually legally use the name, he went and legally changed his name such that it was now his surname (note: I didn't use "family" as the label for this name). Then, upon gaining employment with our company, we had a few difficulties getting everything set up to solely use his surname (legally, one can go by just a single name only if it's their surname, or so he told me was the law in Canada). The difficulty he imposed on some of our infrastructure was justified in his mind by the much simpler name that we could use (both in person and in email). Upon hearing this explanation, I agreed that it was justified, because I saw his full name as given at birth, and I would never be able to remember it, either for pronounciation or for trying to send email to him (and he ended up reporting to me - I'd never be able to send him work assignments!).

      This encounter has picqued much of my interest in how people deal with their own names, so I, too, am curious here as to the actual "why". That said, I see no reason to black out the answer to allow for more guesses - this isn't (or shouldn't be) a challenge or obfu...

        This person never knew the advantages to having an uncommon last name. (Mine's an Americanized spelling of a French spelling of a Basque name):

        *phone rings*

        Telemarketer: Hello is mister *confused pause* (something not even close to my last name) available?

        Me: Nope. *click*

        The only notable problem -- there's only 8 of us left in the US with this last name, so I can't deny all those embarassing things on the internet, or even blame my twin brother, like I can for things in person.

        (there are a few alternate spellings in the Ellis Island records, but as best I can tell, there aren't any left in the US)

Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 14, 2006 at 17:14 UTC

    That's how he likes it; it just looks better that way.

      Exactly — or my name is not e e cummings

      update: you learn something every day.

      • another intruder with the mooring in the heart of the Perl

Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by brian_d_foy (Abbot) on May 14, 2006 at 18:31 UTC

    The answer is in the question. You ask:

    why your name is writen brian d foy and not Brian D'Foy.

    My last name isn't "D'Foy", or "Defoy", or any of the other myriad variations. Given the inability of too many people to handle my name correctly (and it seems so simple), I set out the rules. As people continued to mogrify it, I refined the rules until I got to simply brian d foy (see, for instance, my use.Perl post about the summer of 1996). You don't have to worry about capitalization at all, now, and you only have to use letters.

    The more interesting question is why you think that's strange, given that you aren't using your own name. I use my name just about everywhere (that lets me) instead of a "screen name", and yet I'm the one who's made the odd choice. :)

    When I started writing, I had to pick a form of my name that I would always use. This is especially important in the scientific literature so that people can find everything else you've written and all of the indices and reverse citations work out the right way.

    Besides that, I'm the only one with my name who writes it like I do. I'm not the microbiologist Brian D. Foy, or the other one who goes to my dentist (although we're 12 years apart).

    Why not ask chromatic why he does his name that way? He doesn't even have a good rationalization for his :), as he says when we were both asked that question at our book signings at the Portland Powells (which Chris Dawson recorded for a podcast).

    You might also ask bel hooks or k.d. lang, but don't ask E.E. Cummings, whose name only appeared in lowercase because the publisher mangled it (see, for instance Norman Friedman's comments on his struggle with the publisher of his book on E.E. Cummings).

    --
    brian d foy <brian@stonehenge.com>
    Subscribe to The Perl Review
      The more intersting question is why you think that's strange, given that you aren't using your own name. I use my name just about everywhere (that lets me) instead of a "screen name", and yet I'm the one who's made the odd choice. :)

      First things first: I'm sorry. My initial intention wasn't offend you, in any way. I was just curious because you signed a book using some kind of a nickname, and this is not something usual. People use to sign books using his/her names, it doesn't matter how hard is to spell or pronunce it. This is kind of a social convention I'm used to.

      What I and my friend noticed yesterday was that you doesn't follow those conventions. Maybe I have expressed myself badly, but the curiosity that I felt at the moment was true. As you're a perl author, I tought that you should be a resonable motivation to use this format for spell your own name.

      About not using my own name here: you right, it seems that my behavior is the odd one ;-). But even I have a reason for this: since my university days, its easy to identify me as "Monsieur Champs" than as "Luis Motta Campos" (yeah, this is my real name). That have something to do wth some french-speaking canadian researcher that I supported at LSI, and that translated (!) my last name for their own use.

        I suppose "Mark Twain", "George Orwell", "George Eliot", "Lewis Carroll", "Ayn Rand", "Richard Bachman", "Dr. Seuss", "Jane Somers", "A. Square", "George Sand", "Currier Bell", "Ellis Bell", "Action Bell", "John Reid", and "Ellery Queen" need to be informed (many posthumously by a number of decades, so good luck there) of this social convention that "is not something usual". Those are just novelists using noms de plume, BTW.

        Update: s/noms de plumes/noms de plume/ after a discussion with ikegami over the humor of the former vs. the clarity and acceptance of the latter.

      Hello

      The more intersting question is why you think that's strange, given that you aren't using your own name. I use my name just about everywhere (that lets me) instead of a "screen name", and yet I'm the one who's made the odd choice. :)

      Personally, I don't find it strange that you are using your One True Name as your sign-on. Also, one should certainly have the freedom to use and spell (construct?) whatever name or set of names one wants. What I think is strange is that you've published rules to tell others how to construct your name in a format that is contrary to standard usage. To the point of asking people to rework sentences so that they never start with brian d foy. Sure, bell hooks and k.d. lang have done it, too, but my guess is most people consider that strange, too.

      Maybe this would all appear a little less strange if the Javascript to pop the "please indulge a certain McLuhanesque conceit" footnote that frames the rules worked when I clicked the "*" link :)

      A question: We know from your use.perl journals and Programming is combat that you are in or were in the armed services. Does Uncle Sam respect the rules? My guess is that Rule 1 (same case) is probably okay, while Rule 1b (preferrably lowercase) is not, and the atomicity of brian + d foy is out the window :)

      Or is it that brian d foy is a handle that is used as much as possible in the technical sphere, whereas some group of people (the IRS, the DoD, your family, the scientific community, etc) use varying combinations of "Brian", "B", "D", "Foy", "Dr.", "Ph.D.", "Lieutenant" (sorry, don't know your rank), etc, more like the chromatic model. Unless of course chromatic's mom calls him "chromatic". Now that would be strange.

      The more intersting question is why you think that's strange, given that you aren't using your own name. I use my name just about everywhere (that lets me) instead of a "screen name", and yet I'm the one who's made the odd choice. :)

      That is simple. You arn't using your real name, but it looks like it is. It looks like a first name, initial, last name and that is why people find your capitalization odd. Yes you did indeed make the odd choice because you didn't pick a "screen name" AND you didn't use your real name, you've instead used some congolmeration of both. Don't take odd as a bad thing, simply means you didn't follow any previous convention and so people are going to occasionaly wonder why you would do something like that.

      Why not ask chromatic why he does his name that way? He doesn't even have a good rationalization for his :), as he says when we were both asked that question at our book signings at the Portland Powells (which Chris Dawson recorded for a podcast).

      Same simple answer, his doesn't look like a proper name that should be capitalized, yours does. BTW it is realy a sign of respect to capitalize a persons name, so asking why we can't is like asking "why can't we respect your proper name?" The answer appears to be "it isn't a proper name, it just looks like one."


      ___________
      Eric Hodges
        BTW it is realy a sign of respect to capitalize a persons name
        No, it's really a sign of respect to be called as you wish to be called, and not force your standards on others.

        For example, I go by "Randal" only. Never "Randy". When someone addresses me as "Randy", hoping it will make me feel more comfortable because they're using a familiar name instead of a formal name, it actually makes me more uncomfortable, because it shows they don't really pay attention to what I consider important. It's about respect, not about convention.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
        Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

        Capitalization of a person's name is common in most (all?) European languages, although there are some names (I'm thinking of ffolkes; see http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=SHOW&db=freer&recno=31002) which are not properly capitalized (in this particular name, I believe "ff" is a ligature; I could not find its HTML entity)

        Transliterating names gets into an entirely new form of messiness; I've seen at least 4 common transliterations of (Russian rocket pioneer) Tsiolovsky.

        Of course, I've got a fairly simple, six letter, English surname that most people can't spell. After I've written it down for them.

        emc

        "Being forced to write comments actually improves code, because it is easier to fix a crock than to explain it. "
        —G. Steele
      Hello brian, here is some more food for thought. I know this is an old post and all, but I'd like to add my two cents. You say that this is how you choose to spell your name, which is awesome!!! Taking control of your own name is a huge step at being a "free man".(I use the term man to describe both men and women) In doing research on the subject of names, I came across this. I cannot confirm nor deny this as fact, however if you google a video by the "Paradigm Education Group"(in Canada), the one on human rights and taxation, they note some differences between upper case names, lower case names, and Capital names. And yes,... there actually IS a difference between Upper case and Capital letters, the proof is that they are two different words, therefore have two different meanings. It has to do with the Law Society. When you see a name in all CAPITAL letters, usually it's because someone has capitalized on that individual's name. This is a Legal name. Legal names have First and Last names. ex. JOHN DOE; DOE, JOHN; or even John DOE. There are specific legal titles involved with each different spelling, would be good to research. When you see a Name in upper case and lower case letters, this means it is a Lawful name. Lawful names have Given names, and Family names. ex. John :Doe, the collon signifies that the second name is a family name, or a clan name. You would read it John of the Doe Family/clan. Both these spellings are said to be bound by legal systems. This means that both of these name are subjected to the law society, meaning they are subjecting themselves to the legal system. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. The third name, the one in all lower case(In law anyways), is said to be a sovereign name, that the individual is not subjecting him/herself to a legal system. this means they are publicly telling people that they do not submit to any legal system, and that no one represents them, they do not have representation, and that THEY themselves are there own representatives. here is the link to that video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5391977576871787998&hl=en Just some food for though. Peace!! pat p
      The more interesting question is why you think that's strange, given that you aren't using your own name. I use my name just about everywhere (that lets me) instead of a "screen name", and yet I'm the one who's made the odd choice. :)

      I'm using a nickname but my full name isn't too hard to find out either if you really want to know. People use short nicknames online so they can be referred more easily. Limbic~Region once said that he wouldn't have chosen that name if he knew how the chatterbox works. If you use a full name, people won't easily know that "brian" is the right short form to use, but if you use a nickname, they can just use that.

      Update: one more thing. As you say, it's important that you use names consistently. People have to choose a screen name before they know much about what names are good or bad, and they don't want to change it later. The same thing happens with real names too: many people have bad real names because their parents didn't know better, and it's too much bother to change it later. (The parents needn't even be stupid, they're just very stressed and choose a name in a hurry when the child is born.)

        many people have bad real names because their parents didn't know better, and it's too much bother to change it later. (The parents needn't even be stupid, they're just very stressed and choose a name in a hurry when the child is born.)

        Those are universal lies parents tell their children

      Let's be clear here.

      First, brian and brian d foy are perfectly reasonable symbols you chose to represent you. But they are not English at this point. The second you began imposing your own personal preferences on English to other English users they ceased to be English.

      I don't have a problem with that. It's easy to think about that way, too: your style guide can be made much simpler. Post two icons:

      brian
      brian d foy

      and let editors of English, or any other language, do what they normally would do when incorporating non-English symbols into their texts.

      You should then make explicit how one would pronounce these symbols. Funny how I don't see you mention that in the style guide. Are we to assume brian d foy is pronounced the same as the English proper name "Brian D. Foy"? And how would somebody hearing that name know how to represent it again in print without further context (which lends to my argument that your name is a symbol, and if verbalized as Brian D. Foy, would lose much in translation if then put back into writing).

      (For example, you don't mention how to handle wrapping. Is brian <newline> d foy acceptable? What about cases where the lower-case 'b' is not available? Are we then to not print your name at all? Again, all of these lean toward the brian d foy is a symbol argument.)

      What you shouldn't do -- or at least expect anyone to listen to -- is dictate to all users of a language that they must make a special exception to the handling of your name above its being one or two atoms (symbols). Instead of "if you normally start your sentences with an upper-case letter, then rearrange ..." etc., there'd be no need for that if you'd simply upload two images or vector graphics on how to render your symbol. Or perhaps just focus on the symbol vs name distinction, which would avoid your having to clutter English and other languages altogether.

      Second point: you chose, measured by wasted cognitive energy and time, quite possibly the worst solution to the problem you were addressing, dude.

      Third -- all the other examples? Those are symbols too. And as far as I know it's bell hooks (italicized, lower-case letter-looking symbol).

        Let's be clear here.

        Hi Anonymous Monk, let's be clear , you're talking to the year May 14, 2006 and you're about 12 decades too late -- it can't hear you

Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by ForgotPasswordAgain (Deacon) on May 14, 2006 at 20:45 UTC
    To draw attention to himself, obviously.
Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by chargrill (Parson) on May 15, 2006 at 09:04 UTC

    I'm no brian d foy, but I happened upon an answer to this question before; lifted from brian d foy interviews himself:

    Most frequently people ask me about my name. I write it in all lowercase. That could be another sign of narcissism, but it was really more pragmatic than that. I needed people to remember my name. Before I made my mark on the Perl community, I was just another person doodling with Perl.

    Some people use nicknames or handles for various online channels. Part of that has to do with the naming restrictions for logins, and some of it is historical. For instance, my PANIX and Pair account names are both "comdog". I never choose that. When I first signed up for a web hosting account, my one-man contracting company was called "Computer Dog Consulting". I needed a name for the incorporation forms and choose the object sitting on my monitor: a little stuffed dog. The web hoster condensed that to "comdog". I don't really like it that much, but most anywhere I go, 'brian' is already taken. If a guy was born in the US in 1970, their name is probably Brian.

    I don't like people hiding behind nicks though. Just having a nick doesn't hide identity (everyone knows "merlyn" is Randal Schwartz, for instance), but I'd rather just put my name out there. I think people should attach their name to anything they want to create. There is the odd case of hiding from oppressive governments or litigious churches, but otherwise, I think people should take not only the credit but also the responsibility for what they do. The best way to do that is to attach my name to things.

    That's getting away from the question though. I think I have a pretty simple name. My last name is "foy" and it rhymes with the other words spelled like it. It's not Hietaniemi, for example. People still mangle it's pronunciation. Worse than that, they come up with all sorts of interesting spellings. It's so simple it's hard, apparently. I decided to make it easier by specifying rules for my name. Along with that, I made it all lowercase thinking people would have to break out of their normal thinking and perhaps get it right.

    That didn't quite work out. For a while I said my name, including the middle name "d", so people started coming up with annoying permutations of "defoy". I guess that makes sense, so I just made the "d" silent.

    Most of the rules evolved for usability and recognizability. At least its a conversation starter, which is always a good thing if you want to meet a lot of people. In the Perl community, having some weird name really isn't that weird. Just look at "chromatic". He's using a nick, but he uses it everywhere, including the covers of his books. When I was working as a physicist, I had to choose a form of my name and use only that in all of my publications to make it easy for people to find all of my work. I've just done a similar thing for the Perl community, but with a bit of geek twist.



    --chargrill
    $,=42;for(34,0,-3,9,-11,11,-17,7,-5){$*.=pack'c'=>$,+=$_}for(reverse s +plit//=>$* ){$%++?$ %%2?push@C,$_,$":push@c,$_,$":(push@C,$_,$")&&push@c,$"}$C[$# +C]=$/;($#C >$#c)?($ c=\@C)&&($ C=\@c):($ c=\@c)&&($C=\@C);$%=$|;for(@$c){print$_^ +$$C[$%++]}
Re: [Culture] brian d foy name is allways lower case: why?
by pudge (Sexton) on May 15, 2006 at 17:58 UTC
    Why do you call yourself "monsieur_champs"? Or "-Barry-"? WHO THE HELL CARES? Get a life. Names are just one of many type of symbols by which we recognize things. Which names we choose for ourselves are up to us. Some of them have consequences: you may think, incorrectly, that brian d foy is an asshole because of how he renders his name. That's the risk he takes, just like you took a risk calling yourself the French Champion, making me think you're a pansy.
      Just a gentle reminder: "champs" means "fields" in French. "Champs Elysées", you know? Nothing champion-y about that.

      Now if he'd called himself monsieur_champignon, that would've been suspect ;)

      -- rhesa (and yes, that's my real name :)

        Actually, I am well aware of that. I took several years of French in school. It's why I chose that example: if you're going to go around judging people by your ignorant interpreation of the meaning of their names (even if just the form of the name), be prepared for the same back at you. :-)

      For the record, Monsieur Champs is a literal translation of my last name ("Campos") to french, prefixed with the equivalent treatment for the english mister (i.e., Monsieur) - a pun on my name as I explained previously.

      I believe that if one is to chose a "unique identifier" for oneself, and have it respected - something you, as an author, correctly insist upon - one should really be ready to respect other's choices on this matter.

      You will notice that at no point did I say your choice is "strange" - I was only curious about it because of my friend's question, and because it doesn't follow the usual conventions for name writing.

      I just asked something I don't know, taking care of not offending anyone while doing so. This is the Seekers of Perl Wisdom section purpose, it isn't? If I'm wrong, or did something you have a good enough motivation to think is disrespectful or evil, or just not as nice and polite as I am supposed to be, please downvote me to death.

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