Vonnegut faces an unusual version of a common Google-age problem: the “doppelnamer,” that person or people who share your name and come up in online search results, interfering with job hunts, Yelp ratings and life in general. – [Kirby/Chron]
Carrie Kirby’s article from Wednesday’s Chronicle is a pretty good read if you’re a fan of hilarious coincidence stories you haven’t already heard on This American Life. In terms of articles written solely to explain a word introduced in the headline, it totally works. (I promise, that is a compliment.)
Ms. Kirby’s (Mrs. Kirby’s? I’m sorry, Carrie, I don’t actually know your marital status.) Anyhow, my new friend Carrie’s piece has some wonderful interviews with doppelnamers. You should read it! As someone afflicted with a doppelnamer myself, I’m not exactly impartial here, but also Ms. Kirby didn’t interview me so I will just have to tell you about that part myself.
Unlike Kirby’s professional witnesses who had the misfortune of sharing their names with America’s greatest novelist, an escaped convict, and a whole gaggle of strippers respectively, I share my name with two major Google result rivals: Andrew Dalton, he of the Associated Press and most likely based out of Los Angeles if my stalking proved correct. And Andrew Dalton, the stunningly good redheaded TCU Quarterback who went on be the first redhead to ever play in the NFL or something.
No one would confuse a writer in San Francisco for a mobile rookie quarterback and that other Dalton was mercifully known as Andy Dalton to his fans and sportscasters. So he didn’t turn out to be too much of a threat, personally.
The other Andrew Dalton, however, the one writing C-list celebrity obituaries — he occasionally enters my life when say, Gore Vidal dies, and for a couple days I’m not the googliest AD out there. On those day, I decide (completely unfounded) that the other Andrew Dalton is an asshole and a boring person and that I must immediately proceed to be a more interesting Andrew Dalton than that Andrew Dalton. Because that guy’s such an asshole.
Then two days later I forget about the whole thing. The whole doppelnaming thing is more of a cocktail party story, really.