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Thursday, February 5, 2015

What's in a name

      The digital revolution has created a problem with my last name of St. Clair.  I used to like my last name for its unique quality.  I often joked that most people had to die to become a saint but I was born one.  But with digital databases my last name seems to never show up when I go somewhere and have a reservation. I don't know how many times I have tried to check into a hotel or pick up a prescription had be told they couldn't find my name in their system.   I even had a problem with Social Security which had my payroll deductions in two different places.  Same Social Security number attached to me one without the period but a space and one with Saint spelled out.  Two employers had entered the different versions into the same system.
       Think that people working in the library system now how to alphabetize correctly?  How would you alphabetize my name?  The correct way is to spell out Saint and not alphabetize its abbreviated form of St.  When I pick up a book on reserve at the library my book is sometimes alphabetized Saint, sometimes StC, and even a couple of times under the C's for Clair.  Even though I say St. Clair I have run into times when the person entering my name heard Sinclair.  I have heard the same complaint from people who have last names that can be spelled more than one way.
       Growing up people couldn't find our home phone number in the phone book because they looked under the StC and found some of my relatives alphabetized that way but our phone number was alphabetized Saint at the beginning of the S's.  When it came time to get married one of my daughters couldn't wait to get rid of her last name to end this problem.  As much as she liked her birth last name she had the same problems that I have experienced.

   P.S.
After blogging for almost 4 years I thought it might be time for a change in the appearance of the blog.  I am not sure if I like what I have changed to but might play around some more with its look.  Notice I still favor the beach motif.

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