Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What's in a Name?

Some of you have known me for a long time, while others are just meeting me. Some of you connected with me via Twitter and others via FaceBook. If you've seen me on both Twitter & FaceBook, you know I list my name two different ways.This blog explains why.

My parents named me Julius at birth, but they called me Jules. Until 1990, everyone called me Jules. After 1990, I introduce myself as Jay but prefer to write it as J. 

Is there a little more back story? Sure. I had an Uncle Jay from Albany, GA, but his name was really Joseph William Strawder. As a true Southern Gentleman (yes, I'm being sarcastic), his buddies called him J W. 

"What happened in 1990?", you may ask. (Well? Ask it! I'm not going to pause here forever.)

In 1990 I returned to the US from 15 months stationed at Lajes Field, Azores. I was finally away from my first wife long enough to realize it wasn't going to work and decided to divorce. So I was starting my life over at a new base as a single. I really wanted to change everything about me and my nickname was one of those things I could change. 

I didn't know anything about branding in 1990. I thought I was making a clean break. Folks there is no such thing as a clean break in human society. I had no way to forecast the future existence of Social Media. I didn't know the mess I was going to create. 

On FaceBook I have friends from High School & Undergrad College that know me as Jules. I don't expect them to change, so I listed as Jules.

When I created my Twitter account, I listed as J. That's how "new" friends know me. Now I've found that I really like FB better as my Social Media Hub. Twitter is still great for instant chat and for use at conferences, but I there is more depth available on FB.

What's this all leading up to? If I meet you in person, I'm going to introduce myself as J. Only old friends call me Jules. Even my second wife, who I met in 1991, calls me J. If you know me from FB and call me Jules, I will respond. 1) It's not a common name. 2) I lived with it for 28 years, so I'm well trained to respond.
If we're in a conversation and people use both names, it's OK with me. I'm me whether you call me J. or Jules I'm still the same me.

Shakespeare had it right,
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself." 
(Romeo & Juliet, Act II, Scene II.)

Hidden in Plain Sight

I can hardly stop laughing over this one, so I thought I'd share with you...

In the course of my usual duties, I looked at a journal article. My Place of Work has a license to read the article, but the publisher isn't recognizing our ID / Password right now. When I viewed the article on my screen, I noticed a faint blue color below the 'Login to Read More' message.
I don't want to embarass the journal, so I've semi-redacted the text that is in solid black. Can you see faint blue text below the Login message?

On the journal site, you can right click and View Source to read the whole article in solid black text. Or you could just copy and paste it to Word and change light blue to black.

<Shake My Head>

Attention Journal website staff,

If you don't want us to see the text, don't show it. You should show one page before Login and a different page after Login.

That is all,