[Dave Birch] I was at a conference today and one of the speakers was Nick Sex of Alpheus — yes, it’s his real name.  It must cause havoc with their spam filter, but anyway.  It set me thinking about how odd names are as identifiers, and how he had a much better name than me.  Luckily, if I do decide to change my name to Dave Sex, I can do it using a service such as Fast Deed Poll, which allows me to change my name quickly and easily.  As the web site says, "you can obtain a official change of name Deed Poll Document from us INSTANTLY just for £3.50".  Now that’s service.

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It must be funny to live in a country where names are under state control of some form and you can’t just arbitrarily call yourself whatever you like.  Like France (where there is a strict law about what you can call babies) or Sweden, for example, where a couple ran into trouble recently for trying to name their baby Metallica.  Wy they would want to do this I’ve no idea, but then I’m not Swedish (nor are Metallica: they are American and their much lampooned drummer Lar$ Ulrich is Danish).  Anyhow, Michael and Karolina Tomaro are locked in a court battle with the Swedish Tax Authority about naming their daughter after the 17th biggest wusses in the history of rock music.  The baby was baptised Metallica, but tax officials have dubbed the name "inappropriate" and under Swedish law, both first names and surnames need to win the approval of authorities before they can be used.

Britain will presumably go the same way, because if someone names their child (let’s say) Lar$ then it will crash the national identity register database at the DWP.  This only goes to reinforce my prejudice that there’s no earthly reason to store a person’s name in the national identity register.  The register should be a place to store the things that are unique, that uniquely identify you: your biometrics, for example, and your unique national identity number.  Your name should be treated as nothing more than a mildly interesting characteristic: it does not identify you in any way.

My opinions are my own (I think) and are presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public.
[posted with ecto]

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