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

by chargrill (Parson)
on May 15, 2006 at 09:04 UTC ( #549405=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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

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.

$,=42;for(34,0,-3,9,-11,11,-17,7,-5){$*.=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[$%++]}

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