Non de plume...non de why?

What is it with psuedonyms? If one stands for truth and is willing to fight ignorance then why must one feel to use or have a psuedonym?. I realise privacy must be protected from the teeming billions, we dont want any strangers lurking around our door pestering us… but truth cannot be revealed and ignorance cannot be fought without whoever doing so revealing who they are, what they stand for, …do they not stand alone in their grand glorious starkness as we all do. Cecil Adams’ wikipedia page claims that even The Master goes under a psuedonym and has never been photographed (except on a couple of dubious occassions)…

My Question to ponder would therefore be: Who is the real Cecil Adams? I ask him to stand alone as we all must… what is the reasoning behind such falsehoods?

Sincerely, Dennis Arthur PERRETT, Australia.

To be precise (and pedantic), it’s “nom.”

Here’s Cecil.

As someone who has done a lot of content writing: Much of what is posted online belongs to the site owner, and since online content is a wild west, the poster/writer has no control of his or her content. Which means it may be purchased by a Russian/Chinese/Indian/Whatever concern, bastardized beyond belief, and still published with the original byline.

I have a recognizable real name, but don’t want it spewed all over the interwebs willy-nilly. Therefore, like many, I only use my real name when I am guaranteed anonyminity or integrity in regards to my identity. This isn’t the norm online, so I go by several aliases.

“Cecil Adams” has managed to fight ignorance for several decades without revealing his (or their) identity. There’s only been billionty-seven discussions about this online already, it’s not like you’re the first or anything. :slight_smile:

Wow. He is looking more like Mr. Weatherbee every day.

Okay. Okay. Thats all well and good (and talking from a non-journalist background and as a man who has nothing to hide, who has done little in life and wouldnt care what others think of me and my harmless deeds…) but ignorance in its ultimate contrast with truth cant be fought with falsehoods.

I am talking ultimately, when push comes to shove, here.
When I have an argument with someone face to face, I dont want to argue with a person hiding behind a name, I want them to reveal themselves… if any thing I just see it as an unfair way to fight.

I know its naive to think I am not exposed to corruption and the evil deeds of others but as a human being I need to know I am dealing with other human beings… where would Mahatma Ghandi be if he took on the authority of the British warlords with a psuedonym of Quazza from the Planet Stark, or George Jackson from his prison cell to tell it like it with a psuedonym of Tinkers from the depth of Drabby Dews… honest, real people, who didnt challenge authority with a lie about who they were.

Possibly crazy, yes? I do take your point about words and thoughts being protected, its your right? But does not a theif steal regardless of ones name. If someone wanted to take your words and corrupt your words and make them their own arent they with or without your permission.?

Is it just me or is this the third person that’s showed up on this board in a relatively short time, using their real name and telling us that we should be using our’s as well and that we shouldn’t be hiding behind the anonymity of the internet?

There’s the OP, Jamie and someone else whose name I can’t remember at the moment.

If your argument is that everyone should be able to speak using their own name with impunity, you might want to pick a different poster boy than Gandhi, who was assassinated by one of his opponents.

I mean, he couldn’t have enjoyed anonymity anyway, being by definition a public figure, but I just think there could be a possibility that you haven’t thought this through very deeply.

Wasn’t there one who was going to take legal action to force message boards to drop anonymity?

To someone new to this website and finding hope in the concept of fighting ignorance, I just think it goes without saying???

Dropping subject, been done a billionty times before…

Formulating new arguments… hope my fellow non de plume humans argue as fairly and intelligently with me as I will them.

Sincerely, Dennis Arthur Perrett.

In the revolutionary war period, nom de plumes were used to prevent people from attaching a particular viewpoint to a paper. For example, the Federalist Papers used “Publius” as their author, so people wouldn’t be influenced by the names of the actual authors. Plus, it allowed the three authors to write as one individual. Alexander Hamilton (the writer of most of the papers) was a rather divisive fellow in his days. Imagine if Rush Limbaugh wrote a serious economic treatise. As soon as people saw the name, they’d judge it before even reading it.

Benjamin Franklin was the king of the Nom De Plume. He wrote his first articles with the Nom De Plume of Silence Dogood for his brothers’ newspaper back in Boston, so his brothers wouldn’t find out he was the author.

Many of Franklin’s Nom De Plumes were simply characters he created. His most famous was “Poor” Richard Saunders of Almanack fame. However, he used this character much the way a TV writer would use a character on a show to entertain. What Poor Richard said wasn’t necessarily what Franklin believed, but was what the character believed.

Poor Richard predicted the death of several well known astrologers who wrote for other almanacs and even falsely reported the deaths of several of these astrologers to prove his predictions. Poor Richard complained about his wife Bridget and one year, Bridget wrote the Almanack to get even with her husband.

Quite possibile. Not perfect, not on my high horse or anything, just wondering what the go is mate.? Yes, Ghandi was killed by one of his own, hiding… sad but true…

Yes, who wants to be a public figure anyway… we do stand alone though.

Sorry, female, and I have a stalker that I really do not want to be able to find me online and determine what ISP I am using, and figure out from that what area of what state I live in.

I am also an online gamer, and I don’t use my real name there either - I really don’t want geek dudes that live in their mom’s basement finding out I am a real girl and mashing on me. I get a certain amount of that happening in game when I play a female character - some guys will hit on anything that remotely looks female, whether or not they actually are [the internet, where men are men, women are men and children are FBI agents…]

From the pseudonymous perspective: Actually hardly anyone goes through life being addressed exclusively by one name, which is their whole name and their only name. One generally goes by Whole Name, Firstname, Title Name, and as many nicknames and endearments as friends and family come up with. Then there’s married names, religious conversion names and sometimes professional names. Before the internet there were cb handles, now there are internet pseudonyms too. The preferred and proper forms of people’s names depend on context and in the context of internet fora people have a number of reasons to adopt something other than Wholename.

The bottom line is we’re not face to face and the only way anyone here knows me is by my posts*. Debate or otherwise engage with me on the Dope and the only thing you’re guaranteed here is that it’s the same Springtime for Spacers all the time and that’s it.

*Unless I get to know someone well enough to meet up or even go all the way and friend them on Facebook.

Not telling you to do anything mate… if you want a psuedonym have a psuedonym, Im sure u gave it a lot of thought and its represents a part of your personality you want to reveal. None of my business… but a bloke has to separate Fact from Fiction in order to fight ignorance.

Thats right. Good point. Ones Humour reveals a lot about Oneself as much as Ones Name. Thankyou for sharing that…

Legal Action hahaha. Surely u Jest… (what little insignificant I) ps - you dont have to talk around me, I do exist, you can talk to me u know.?

Thankyou for your honesty. I will know hold you to your word.

Nom de plume, thankyou my pedantic friend…

How can Cecil Adams say he’s been fighting ignorance since 1973 if he keeps us ignorant of his identity?

The same way you claim to be seeking the truth while doing the same?