Saying Goodbye to W (No, not George Bush)

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Summary: I am starting to shed my, as it were, initial initial. The reason behind it is mostly technical, but also it is starting to feel a little piffy to keep up. Ah well, goodbye old W and fair thee well.

Friday, 26 February 2010

(01:33:16 CST)

Saying Goodbye to W (No, not George Bush)

I have spent about six hours yesterday getting rid of the letter "W". Technically, that should be "W." As in William. As in my first name. People almost always go by their first name. Maybe an abbreviated nickname of it: Teds for Edward or Sue for Susan. I am one of the rare few who have the curse of the middle name as primary name. Not just that, I have an abbreviated middle name as my primary name. While "William Douglas" does sound better than "Douglas William"; spending a decent chunk of my life telling people to look things up under ", wait, try William" is not really all that great of a trade-off.

About the time I planned to start grad school, and even a little before; I concocted the somewhat contrived compromise of an initial initial used to signify "Yes, this is that William chap you are looking for, but he goes by Doug". My website has had it for a while: W. Doug Bolden. I do not remember when I put it in, but my website was small enough for a while that I used to change things kind of regularly. I've signed e-mails with it for a while. It worked.

What went wrong? I became tired of it. Even though it obstensibly makes my name more unique, it also feels pretentious. In most cases, its utitlity is outstripped by the fact that your average bear can learn "Oh, William goes by Doug" about as fast as a single e-mail; meaning what purpose it serves is mostly within initial greetings. I have no desire to be called "W." in any variation, so it was written, as it were, to be a silent W.

And, on the technical side, a lot of websites went and got clever. See, when they were dumb, I could tell them my first name was "W. Doug" and that worked dandy. As time has gone on, though, they have started "guessing" what I meant by that; and the results vary: some call me "W." and some call me "W.Doug" and some call me some default name because the space throws it off. If the W was meant to be silent and was there to bring attention to the fact that I want to be called "Doug", then having a website guess about half the time that I really want to be called "W" is annoying.

Anyhow, this is all to say that I wrote several lines of code and have been going back and forth on various online sites; expurgigating the W from my name. I'll miss it (and still probably use it on some school-related stuff); but it felt a little too...cheeky...for me.

OH! And this was tied into a series of other changes. I've tried altering the layout of my website just enough to make it more usable. I got rid of the "W. Doug Bolden" that showed up at the top of every page. I have tweaked the fonts to the left. I have gotten rid of some fluff at the top. This was on top of altering it all so that the text-meat portions was above the links-gravy portion. All in all, you should be able to see much more of the article itself when you click on a page, should be able to navigate the links better. Hopefully, people will like it.

Si Vales, Valeo


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Written by Doug Bolden

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