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  #1  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:28 AM
Tiger_Lily Tiger_Lily is offline
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When people insist on using lower-case letters for their names. . .

A colleague of mine in academics spells, and asks all others to spell, her first and last names using lower-case letters. An example is bell hooks, or mary sullivan. As a traditionally schooled academic myself, I face great dissonance when typing her name. My tendency is to "properly" capitalize her name, but of course that is probably seen as oppositional.

My question: When one chooses to disregard convention such as in this case, must others oblige by also disregarding convention?

In the meantime I will continue to type her name out with first and last names capitalized. "Mary Sullivan, you are no bell hooks!"
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:36 AM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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I say just use the proper capitalization and let the self-important person be peeved about it. A person can't just declare that her name is not subject to conventional rules. If someone asked that I always dot the I in their name with a smiley face or a heart, I wouldn't comply with that either.

The lowercase name thing is so precious and pretentious. I'd be happy to annoy the person by writing it properly.
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:38 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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I'd use all caps for their names, just to rub it in.
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:39 AM
moi moi is offline
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I don't think it hurts or inconveniences me to refer to people--in spoken conversation and in writing--as they wish to be known. This goes for people who prefer a name other than their given name, who opt to use their middle name instead of their first, who have a strong aversion to a shortened/pet version of their given name and, IMHO, your coworker who prefers her name to be lowercase. It's their identity, I don't see where I should feel like I get a say?
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:39 AM
Tiger_Lily Tiger_Lily is offline
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Dingbat, thanks!

And I totally enjoyed reading your response! I fought off the impulse to use the phrase "self-indulgent" when writing my post, and so laughed when you went ahead and acknowledged it. Thanks for the reality check. Others on campus are complying with ms. important's request to treat her special, so it's good to hear another voice.
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  #6  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:47 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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There's certainly precedent for it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.e._cu...capitalization
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K.d._lang
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:52 AM
Tiger_Lily Tiger_Lily is offline
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Elendil's Heir, thanks!

I really appreciate the links. I looked and found a few sites that sorta kinda addressed the issue, but these two are very helpful. I especially enjoyed the "stage name" k.d. lang and then referring to her otherwise as Lang.

Thank you, everyone. I am a brand new member in terms of posting, and appreciate your information and enthusiasm!
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:27 AM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Capitalization is not an arbitrary rule, it is there to help understanding. The classic example: "I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse."

Those who insist they are not subject to conventional capitalization rules are looking for an attention grabbing hook. Good for them. I'm happy they have a nice, safe outlet for their artistic spirit. They can color outside the lines and claim the lines are trying to control them too.

My artistic spirit tells me to write other people's names however the hell I feel like, even capitalizing against their wishes. I'm just wild and crazy that way!
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:29 AM
Invisible Chimp Invisible Chimp is offline
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Normally, I make an effort to call people what they want to be called. If they introduce themselves as William, I don't call them Bill. But all lowercase irritates me, sets my teeth on edge. It smacks of a pretentiousness that preferring William to Bill doesn't. I would try to comply, would probably frequently mess up, and not apologize for it.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:34 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingbang View Post
I say just use the proper capitalization and let the self-important person be peeved about it. A person can't just declare that her name is not subject to conventional rules. If someone asked that I always dot the I in their name with a smiley face or a heart, I wouldn't comply with that either.

The lowercase name thing is so precious and pretentious. I'd be happy to annoy the person by writing it properly.
I could have said every word of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moi View Post
It's their identity, I don't see where I should feel like I get a say?
I get a say, because I get to decide what comes out of my own mouth and what is written by my own hand. Excessive preciousness of the "SanDeE*" is a type of passive-aggressive control-freak behaviour. SanDeE* can go and pout when I write "Sandee."

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
Capitalization is not an arbitrary rule, it is there to help understanding. The classic example: "I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse."

Those who insist they are not subject to conventional capitalization rules are looking for an attention grabbing hook. Good for them. I'm happy they have a nice, safe outlet for their artistic spirit. They can color outside the lines and claim the lines are trying to control them too.

My artistic spirit tells me to write other people's names however the hell I feel like, even capitalizing against their wishes. I'm just wild and crazy that way!
Damn straight.
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:38 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Remember Jerry terHorst, Ford's press secretary? That name caused all kinds of problems. Also a lot of people with Italian names have different ways of spelling what was probably the same name back in the Old Country, e.g., DiFranco, di Franco, Difranco, etc.

I guess people can choose what their names are supposed to be, although I would agree that in this case it's a little eccentric (but see "e.e. cummings").
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:46 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Not to hijack, but I'm curious as to why omitting capital letters would be considered pretentious or even passive-aggressive (!) in a first name or surname, but not in an alias or username.

shiftless, is your own username spelling meant as an "attention grabbing hook"? And Acsenray, IIRC you used to use a lowercase initial "a" for your name on these boards: were you being precious or passive-aggessive then?

I wonder if we're perhaps reading too much psychological weight into other people's orthographic experiments. In any case, I'd say it's impolite to deliberately spell another person's name differently from the way you know perfectly well they wish it to be spelled.
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:47 AM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
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A lot of the time, when I write a quick, informal email, I'll sign it like this:

-mike

(Not my real name). I capitalize my name pretty much every other time I write it, but I've been in the habit of doing the above for quite some time, I never really thought of it as pretentious or anything. Is this something that many would think is pretentious, or just the idea of asking others to 'treat your name special'?
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:03 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
(but see "e.e. cummings").
Yeah, see E. E. Cummings, who wrote his name with and without capitals and his signature included capitals. The all-lowercase version was preferred by publishers for design purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Not to hijack, but I'm curious as to why omitting capital letters would be considered pretentious or even passive-aggressive (!) in a first name or surname,
It's passive-aggressive and control-freakish when you insist that other people must adhere to your idiosyncrasy in their own writing.

Quote:
but not in an alias or username.
Aliases follow the same rules as regular names. User names originate in a completely different tradition in which people generally treat the conventions of writing much more cavalierly. They are not given the same status as a person's actual name. It took some time before a user sign in name started becoming an identifier, and it still has a large technical purpose that puts it in a different context than an actual personal name.

Quote:
And Acsenray, IIRC you used to use a lowercase initial "a" for your name on these boards: were you being precious or passive-aggessive then?
No, I was merely being careless, which is a common feature of online interaction. If I had thrown a fit whenever someone capitalized my user name in the traditional manner of an actual name, then I would have been precious and passive-aggressive.

I wonder if we're perhaps reading too much psychological weight into other people's orthographic experiments. In any case, I'd say it's impolite to deliberately spell another person's name differently from the way you know perfectly well they wish it to be spelled.[/QUOTE]

Last edited by Acsenray; 09-06-2011 at 11:07 AM..
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:07 AM
sparky! sparky! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Panda View Post
A lot of the time, when I write a quick, informal email, I'll sign it like this:

-mike

(Not my real name). I capitalize my name pretty much every other time I write it, but I've been in the habit of doing the above for quite some time, I never really thought of it as pretentious or anything. Is this something that many would think is pretentious, or just the idea of asking others to 'treat your name special'?
You doing it is nor pretentious. Require other to do so would be.

Personally, I wouldn't do it. It is ingrained in me to capitalize the first letter of names. Asking me to do otherwise for just one person would cause real issue for me.
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:07 AM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
shiftless, is your own username spelling meant as an "attention grabbing hook"? And Acsenray, IIRC you used to use a lowercase initial "a" for your name on these boards: were you being precious or passive-aggessive then?
I forgot to hit the shift key when I typed my username the first time. I don't remember insisting that everyone else must type my username the exact same way. If I did, it would be for the attention.
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:21 AM
yabob yabob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
I forgot to hit the shift key when I typed my username the first time. I don't remember insisting that everyone else must type my username the exact same way. If I did, it would be for the attention.
Plus, there's no commonly accepted capitalization convention in usernames anyway. It's a different context, with different expectations. Note all lowercase sparky!, who says:
Quote:
Personally, I wouldn't do it. It is ingrained in me to capitalize the first letter of names. Asking me to do otherwise for just one person would cause real issue for me.
FTR, I didn't forget to hit the shift key.
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:38 AM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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Does the woman in the OP explain WHY she wants her name in lowercase?

I am divided because I support the eccentricities that seem to go along with the best artists, but this woman doesn't sound like an artist but just someone who wants to do a petty power play. She isn't changing her name, just forcing you to be extra special when referring to her highness it sounds like.
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:51 AM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Originally Posted by Tiger_Lily View Post
Dingbat, thanks!
And I totally enjoyed reading your response! ...
Ummm, it's Dingbang, not Dingbat.

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  #20  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:00 PM
Dahnlor Dahnlor is offline
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I agree with Vinyl Turnip: ALWAYS WRITE THE NAME IN ALL CAPS.

yOU CAN SAY THAT YOUR cAPS lOCK KEY IS STUCK.

Even if you're handwriting.

Last edited by Dahnlor; 09-06-2011 at 12:01 PM..
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  #21  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:01 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky!
It is ingrained in me to capitalize the first letter of names. Asking me to do otherwise for just one person would cause real issue for me.
Really? I mean, it's ingrained in me to spell well-known names such as "Sandy" and "Alice" conventionally, but I manage to make exceptions in cases where I know the person (even if it's "just one person") prefers a bizarre or unique spelling such as "Sandee" or "Alyce".

I certainly wouldn't let my preference for conventional nomenclature override the other person's preference about the form of their own name. Even if I do happen to think that spellings like "Sandee" or "Alyce" or "Kaytlyn", etc., are silly, precious and annoying. My opinion of their motivation in writing their names unconventionally has no place in determining how I write their names to communicate with or about them.

Mind you, I completely agree that people using any kind of unconventional form for their names, whether it involves spelling, capitalization, punctuation or all of the above, should be tolerant of other people's confusion and mistakes about it. Anybody who expects you to know their name is written in an unusual way without being told is indeed being a self-important asshole.

But if somebody informs me politely that they write (or for that matter, pronounce) their name in an unusual way, however weird it is, I think the polite thing to do is to reproduce that version as accurately as I can, without letting my personal "issues" about other people's idiotic idiosyncrasies get in the way.

Of course, none of these individual responses from anybody really counts as a GQ-type answer, but I'm not sure it was a GQ-type question.
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  #22  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:04 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Capitalization is different from spelling. It's more like grammar. It's like someone telling you "When you use my name as the subject of a sentence, you must use it with a plural verb form only" or even "You can't say SanDeE* is going to the store. The correct form is SanDeE* IZZ going to the store." There's a limit beyond which imposing your personal preference on others becomes controlling.

Last edited by Acsenray; 09-06-2011 at 12:05 PM..
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  #23  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:20 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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I'm a bit surprised this thread hasn't been moved to IMHO sice ther is no factual answer to the OP's question.

Is it possible the person in some sort of D/s relationship?
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  #24  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:26 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Originally Posted by moi View Post
I don't think it hurts or inconveniences me to refer to people--in spoken conversation and in writing--as they wish to be known. This goes for people who prefer a name other than their given name, who opt to use their middle name instead of their first, who have a strong aversion to a shortened/pet version of their given name and, IMHO, your coworker who prefers her name to be lowercase. It's their identity, I don't see where I should feel like I get a say?
Ditto.

I recall the conversation when Prince changed his name to that unpronouncable symbol. Personally, I was pretty put off by this change, and couldn't figure out whether he even had a right to do such a wacky thing. Then I saw an article where someone had written that there is no human right more basic than the right to decide how other people will refer to you. That logic was so appealing that it totally won me over.
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  #25  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:27 PM
Long Time Lurker Long Time Lurker is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Excessive preciousness of the "SanDeE*" is a type of passive-aggressive control-freak behaviour. SanDeE* can go and pout when I write "Sandee."
It's nice but everybody has weird names now, like Tiffany with p-h-i, and instead of Nancy it's Nanceen.
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  #26  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:28 PM
nolonger lurking nolonger lurking is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Capitalization is different from spelling. It's more like grammar. It's like someone telling you "When you use my name as the subject of a sentence, you must use it with a plural verb form only" or even "You can't say SanDeE* is going to the store. The correct form is SanDeE* IZZ going to the store." There's a limit beyond which imposing your personal preference on others becomes controlling.
My name is not O'Donnell, but it is similar. While I don't mind being addressed as ODonnell (and sometimes prefer it for computer related reasons), I do have a strong preference for O'Donnel or ODonnel over Odonnel or O'donnel. It's hard to say why, but the latter two don't register to my mind as me. The O is not as important as the next letter. I don't make a stink about it, but I would appreciate being referred to by my name. I therefore have a tough time arguing against names like SanDeE. I would do my best to write mary sullivan each time I referred to this lady because I benefit from other people's forbearance in this.
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  #27  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:33 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nolonger lurking View Post
I therefore have a tough time arguing against names like SanDeE.
You're preference for "O'Donnell" isn't some idiosyncrasy or novelty. It's part of the standard toolbox of capitalization patterns in our language (another, less common standard is Donnell). There are some aspects of language -- including aspects of personal names -- that are set by users of the language by tradition and consensus, not by individual preferences imposed on everyone else.

Last edited by Acsenray; 09-06-2011 at 12:35 PM..
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  #28  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:36 PM
Red Stilettos Red Stilettos is offline
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I also know an academic who insists on lowercase letters for his name. In his case, he says it's because his name is so common, this sets him apart. The problem is journals don't follow his request (and he does push the issue). Even if they did, the literature databases wouldn't distinguish between upper and lower case. So, ultimately his point is moot and he's just being difficult. Unfortunately, that's the reputation that precedes him, not his actual work. And, no, he isn't an artist. He's a scientist.
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  #29  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:37 PM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
Even if I do happen to think that spellings like "Sandee" or "Alyce" or "Kaytlyn", etc., are silly, precious and annoying. My opinion of their motivation in writing their names unconventionally has no place in determining how I write their names to communicate with or about them.
But that, presumably, would be their actual, legal names. In that case I might think Kaytlyn's parents were stupid to give her a silly name but it is in fact her name and I'd spell it that way. Now if her name was Alice but she wanted people to spell it Alyce, I guess I'd consider it like a nickname and go with it (while rolling my eyes).

That's not the same as demanding that I ignore conventions of grammar and capitalization just because likes her name to be written as "kAt*lYn."

Don't get me started on Ke$ha.
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  #30  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:46 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingbang
But that, presumably, would be their actual, legal names. In that case I might think Kaytlyn's parents were stupid to give her a silly name but it is in fact her name and I'd spell it that way. Now if her name was Alice but she wanted people to spell it Alyce, I guess I'd consider it like a nickname and go with it (while rolling my eyes).
In other words, you'd spell it her preferred way whether it was her "actual, legal name" or not.

So would I. And I would do the same for unconventional punctuation or capitalization as well as unconventional spelling.

I quite agree that the rest of us are entitled to a bit of private eye-rolling when weird people want us to write their names weirdly, but I think it would be rude to point that out to them. And I think it would be even ruder to explicitly refuse to honor their preference in writing their names.

However, as John Mace noted, this can't be settled with a factual answer. The closest we could get would be finding some generally recognized etiquette authority or style guide that issues a pronouncement on the idiosyncratic use of all-lowercase personal names, and I haven't been able to come up with one. (Furthermore, even a generally recognized etiquette authority or style guide isn't universally accepted as the final arbiter in such cases.)
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  #31  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:50 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
I quite agree that the rest of us are entitled to a bit of private eye-rolling when weird people want us to write their names weirdly, but I think it would be rude to point that out to them. And I think it would be even ruder to explicitly refuse to honor their preference in writing their names.
I just don't agree. I think it's rude of them to expect it.

What's the limit?

"Whenever you type my name, you must stand and salute, hop three times, and shout Thank God for SanDeE*, because that is actually my correct name as I have chosen it."
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  #32  
Old 09-06-2011, 12:54 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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My name can only be written in green-colored type.

This discussion reminds me of a long-ago OP who insisted that his draft card was not really his draft card because it spelled his name in all caps, which is not how he wrote his name.
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  #33  
Old 09-06-2011, 01:00 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Moderating: Moved thread GQ->IMHO

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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I'm a bit surprised this thread hasn't been moved to IMHO sice ther is no factual answer to the OP's question.
It has now.
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  #34  
Old 09-06-2011, 01:01 PM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
I just don't agree. I think it's rude of them to expect it.

What's the limit?

"Whenever you type my name, you must stand and salute, hop three times, and shout Thank God for SanDeE*, because that is actually my correct name as I have chosen it."
Agreed. It's all about how far they push it. For me, I can live with a cutesy spelling if that's what they've decided their name is because I can chalk it up "everyone gets to declare their own nickname." But I draw the line at someone declaring their own punctuation and capitalization.
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  #35  
Old 09-06-2011, 01:11 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Regarding Prince, there's a reason why everyone referred to him as "the artist formerly known as Prince." There are physiological and technical realities that make it impractical for someone to insist on a name that is both unpronounceable and cannot be written using the standard character set. To some extent, a personal name has a practical aspect. It's so people, when speaking or writing, can refer to a third person in a convenient way. When you adopt a name that interferes too much with that practical aspect of a name, you're fucking around with people.

Is it a problem that we transliterate Arabic, Greek, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian names when we're writing in English? How is that any different?
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  #36  
Old 09-06-2011, 01:17 PM
anson2995 anson2995 is offline
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There is a difference between not capitalizing someone's name as an affectation, and respecting the actual spelling.

I have a friend whose last name is van der Wal. It's Dutch, and in the Netherlands they'd only capitalize the W. His parents and siblings, all American born, use Van der Wal, a convention which few others follow. He gets mail addressed to Vander Wal, Vanderwal, and other variations.
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  #37  
Old 09-06-2011, 01:57 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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My last name is similar to (but not) this: MacBain....I don't think it's an affectation for me to want it spelled correctly, instead of Macbain. But the difference is, that's how I was christened; and I really do prefer that people write it MacBain instead of Macbain because the former is correct, damn it.

How about names with apostrophes inserted, such as Tane'sha or Q'sha, or names like La-Von and such? I personally find them as pretentious as a lower-case name, but I'll spell it any way the individual prefers.
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  #38  
Old 09-06-2011, 01:59 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
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Originally Posted by Red Stilettos View Post
I also know an academic who insists on lowercase letters for his name. In his case, he says it's because his name is so common, this sets him apart. The problem is journals don't follow his request (and he does push the issue). Even if they did, the literature databases wouldn't distinguish between upper and lower case. So, ultimately his point is moot and he's just being difficult. Unfortunately, that's the reputation that precedes him, not his actual work. And, no, he isn't an artist. He's a scientist.
What will john smith do when it becomes a trend in academia for every self-important academe to do that? Also why doesn't he just change his name to Orchidia Moonbeam or something if the goal is to stand out?
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  #39  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:29 PM
Blaster Master Blaster Master is offline
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Here's the thing, identity isn't a single objective thing, there is both how one identifies oneself and how each other person that he associates with identifies him. In many cases, it makes sense for one to adjust his view of another person's identity because it has changed, but sometimes one may make an effort to change one's identity but it just doesn't affect how others see him. To this end, someone who has gone by one name his whole life and suddenly decides they want to go by a different name, they'll have trouble getting it to stick and expecting everyone else to suddenly make a shift in how they identify him just because he changed how he identifies himself is just obnoxious.

Another aspect of identity that is particularly important is relativity, whether it's to some sort of standard, some group, or whatever. We see issues with this all the time, particularly with race, sexual preference, and gender, but this carries over in other more subtle ways. In many cases these sorts of standards exist because they're useful and capitalization of proper names is no exception because they're words that should stand out. It's fine to go against convention if there's a good reason, like with some of the aforementioned ones, but going against it without good reason is just as bad and sometimes worse than following them for no reason.

To me, it seems that someone who insists that his name be written in lowercase is doing it to make it stand out. First of all, it only stands out when in a list of names, pretty much in any other way it will either have no affect or possibly make it blend in worse. Second, even if it does help it stand out in written form, it does nothing to help the name stand out when spoken. Third, if one is upset that one's name is too common, there's better ways to address it. For instance, one could go by one's middle name, a nickname, a shortened or lengthened version, or include other initials, maiden names, or titles/degrees/certs as part of the written name. One could try alternate spellings or simply choose another name or have a pen name if it's for a book, article, or other such publication.

So, to that end, if your name is Steve Smith, I don't care if you want it written as steve smith, I'll type it properly because it's useful whereas your identity crisis with a common and boring name isn't useful. If you want to stand out, be Steve L. Smith or S. L. Smith or S. Larry Smith or Steven/Stephen/Steeve Smith, or Steve Smith, PhD or some combination or something entirely different. When you start self-identifying with a different name entirely, it's useful to accomodate. But, your desire to stand out isn't my responsibility to accomodate, especially when it's in a way that just makes my life more difficult but doesn't actually accomplish anything.

So, IMO, the OP should more or less ignore what the coworker requests if it's more useful or consistent to capitalize normally.
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  #40  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:33 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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If somebody asked me to spell their name lowercase, I'd ask why. If they gave me an interesting or substantial answer, I'd respect it. If they didn't, it really depends on how much help I want from said person.

That said, I have trouble imagining what an interesting or substantial answer could be. Maybe, "there was a serial killer with the same name as me; I dropped the capitals as a way of expressing my shame over sharing his name."

"I'm a snowflake!" wouldn't cut it.

Last edited by typoink; 09-06-2011 at 02:34 PM..
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  #41  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:34 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray
What's the limit?

"Whenever you type my name, you must stand and salute, hop three times, and shout Thank God for SanDeE*, because that is actually my correct name as I have chosen it."
But those actions don't affect the actual written form of the name, so they're irrelevant to this discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray
Is it a problem that we transliterate Arabic, Greek, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Indian names when we're writing in English? How is that any different?
It's different because those names are written in different alphabets; when writing in English we use the roman alphabet (occasionally with some diacriticals for foreign words).

But what we're discussing here is conventional and unconventional usages of writing names using the roman alphabet, so again, your suggested analogy is irrelevant.

The fact is, as other posters have pointed out, that names used by English speakers and written in the roman alphabet do exhibit a variety of conventions in capitalization and punctuation (including spacing). Odell, O'Dell, ODell, and other variants are all originally the same name, as are DiBianco, di Bianco, and Dibianco, or van der Waerden, Van der Waerden, and Vanderwaerden.

I agree that people who tweak conventional written forms of nomenclature at their individual whim do come across as annoying pissants. However, it's not my job (even if it were possible) to reform the annoying pissants of the world.

IMHO (and here we are in the proper forum for such a response, thanks Gary), it may be irritating and pretentious to adopt an unconventional way of writing your name within a given alphabet, but it's flat-out discourteous for other people to deliberately disregard your preference because your pretentiousness irritates them.

Frankly, using a first name like "Twylyght" or "Ambre" (or, for that matter, "Bruiser" or "Spike") strikes me as a lot more eye-rolly than just spelling your name without any capital letters. But I roll my eyes in private, and don't presume to try to teach "Ambre" or "Bruiser" or "john smith" any kind of lesson about not being a pretentious twazzock.
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  #42  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:42 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
...I saw an article where someone had written that there is no human right more basic than the right to decide how other people will refer to you. That logic was so appealing that it totally won me over.
Well... if I had a choice between (a) living in a dictatorial regime which punctiliously spelled my offbeat, affected, cutesy name correctly even as it starved, beat and tortured me, or (b) living in a democracy under the rule of law where not everyone called me just what I wanted to be called, y'know, I think I'd go for option (b). But that's just me.
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  #43  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:43 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
The fact is, as other posters have pointed out, that names used by English speakers and written in the roman alphabet do exhibit a variety of conventions in capitalization and punctuation (including spacing). Odell, O'Dell, ODell, and other variants are all originally the same name, as are DiBianco, di Bianco, and Dibianco, or van der Waerden, Van der Waerden, and Vanderwaerden.
And none of those conventions include all lower case. It's just not a part of the language to put proper names in all lower case. Given the variety of conventions that do exist, it's significant that this one is not part of them.

Quote:
However, it's not my job (even if it were possible) to reform the annoying pissants of the world.
It's also not my job to be controlled by them. They can do whatever they want with their names. When I'm writing it, I'm going to put a capital letter at the front.

Quote:
but it's flat-out discourteous for other people to deliberately disregard your preference because your pretentiousness irritates them.
As I said before, there are limits. And it is not discourteous to adhere to this one simple rule of English -- in normal text, proper names are not all lower case.

Quote:
Frankly, using a first name like "Twylyght" or "Ambre" (or, for that matter, "Bruiser" or "Spike") strikes me as a lot more eye-rolly than just spelling your name without any capital letters.
Not to me. Capitalization is not like spelling.

Quote:
presume to try to teach "Ambre" or "Bruiser" or "john smith" any kind of lesson about not being a pretentious twazzock.
I'm not teaching anyone a lesson, other than this -- Engage in any old foolishness that you want to, but you can't make me join in on this one.
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  #44  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:50 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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I think the best thing for our OP to do is to tell "mary sullivan" that your name is always to be rendered in a larger font than the surrounding text. If she(?) agress to do that, then be a good sport and type her name in all-lowercase as she asks. If she's not willing to accomodate your idiosyncracy, well ... you know what to do.
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  #45  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:51 PM
Tiger_Lily Tiger_Lily is offline
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Thanks everyone!

So many great and thoughtful responses! And Dingbang, I am very sorry for misspelling your name! Ack! This is my first post so I thought the general board was the place; thanks for pointing out the IMHO board.

I appreciate each and every post. What a great group of individuals, and I'm not just saying that to suck up. Thanks!
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  #46  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:58 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger_Lily View Post
So many great and thoughtful responses! And Dingbang, I am very sorry for misspelling your name! Ack! This is my first post so I thought the general board was the place; thanks for pointing out the IMHO board.

I appreciate each and every post. What a great group of individuals, and I'm not just saying that to suck up. Thanks!
Welcome to the SDMB!

chiroptera

/oops all lower case. (But I don't mind if someone capitalizes it.)
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  #47  
Old 09-06-2011, 02:59 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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You're welcome. And we won't even insist that you call us loretta.
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  #48  
Old 09-06-2011, 03:05 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typoink View Post
If somebody asked me to spell their name lowercase, I'd ask why.
Me, I'd chuckle, roll my eyes, and walk away.
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  #49  
Old 09-06-2011, 03:20 PM
StarvingButStrong StarvingButStrong is offline
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For me, it depends on how I feel about the person. I like you? I'll spell it however it makes you happy. I'm neutral towards you? I'll attempt to spell it like you want it, but maybe will forget.

If I dislike you? You're fair game. There was a girl in a class at college I could not stand. Her name was one of the family Catherine/Katherine/Kathryn... only with some creative spelling on top of the normal variations. I made it a point to spell it wrong each time, and tried to make it a different wrong version each time. She called me on it a few times, and I would just say, "Gee, I knew it's a weird spelling, I just can never remember which...."

I think she hated me even more than I hated her. Hah!
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  #50  
Old 09-06-2011, 03:25 PM
Dingbang Dingbang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
My last name is similar to (but not) this: MacBain....I don't think it's an affectation for me to want it spelled correctly, instead of Macbain. But the difference is, that's how I was christened; and I really do prefer that people write it MacBain instead of Macbain because the former is correct, damn it.

How about names with apostrophes inserted, such as Tane'sha or Q'sha, or names like La-Von and such? I personally find them as pretentious as a lower-case name, but I'll spell it any way the individual prefers.
But MacBain, Tane'sha, Q'sha, and La-Von aren't pretentious affections. Those are the actual, legal, proper names. Of course they should be spelled correctly, including the hypens, commas, etc. That's not an affectation.
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