MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Department of mechanical engineering

TO:     Andrew Starr    

FROM:   David Gordon (Dave) Wilson              Phone 617 xxx-xxxx

RE:     A NAME QUIZ     

        Here's the whole lot, Andrew.  Pick and choose as you wish. 

        What do the following people have in common?  Try to answer 
without looking at the next paragraph.

John Wilkes Booth
John Wayne Gacy
Lee Harvey Oswald
James Earl Ray
Mark David Chapman
Mohamad Farrah Aideed
Sarah Jane Moore
Andrew Dice Clay

If you've noticed that they all have three names, you've  earned an "A".  
They are never, so far as I know, referred to as "Lee H. Oswald" or "John 
W. Booth".  We probably wouldn't recognize them if some reprobate changed 
their names in this way.  The same goes for the following worthies:

Francis Ford Coppola
Martin Luther King
John Kenneth Galbraith
Alexander Graham Bell
Thomas Alva Edison
Johann Sebastian Bach
Robert Louis Stevenson
Louisa May Alcott
Edgar Allan Poe
Peter Bent Brigham
Claire Booth Luce
John Stuart Mill
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Sandra Day O'Connor

        I don't know why these people chose to use all three of their 
names.  I changed my legal name to David Gordon Wilson many years ago 
after becoming unhappy at receiving bills, traffic tickets, bail notices and 
2-A.M. calls from weird women friends of various nefarious David G. 
Wilsons, of which there were at one time twelve in the Boston phone 
book. No one has the right to decide for me that my name should really 
be David G. Wilson.  If someone with an Ellis-Island view of the world does so 
decide, I have the right not to respond.  However, I do happily respond 
informally to Dave Wilson.  So there's your choice:  David Gordon Wilson 
or Dave Wilson.  If you really need to shorten it more, D. G. Wilson is OK, 
but, please, no other concoctions.