Talk:Are You Dave Gorman?

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B. David Gorman[edit]

I haven't read the book, so perhaps someone could enlighten me as to why B. David Gorman is less of a Dave Gorman than someone called (say) D. Brian Gorman. The best Dave could come up with when I asked him a couple of years ago was "You've got to have rules." The implication being that "This is a rule, so we've got to have it." But the concept of a so-called 'middle' name applies only to those who are known by their first forename. While these 'schizonyms' may be in the majority, it is not by any means an overwhelming majority – as should be evident from the quaintly named List of people 'known by middle name'. I'm sure that, like me, most people on this list do not consider their main forename to be a 'middle name' at all. As far as I can see Dave was merely reinforcing a popular misconception. – Grant 23:41, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

It's made quite clear in the book - middle names do not count. Earlier in the quest, Dave had met another DG who had named his son "Justin David Gorman". Just as he realises that this child cannot count, he later uses Justin as an example when discussing why "B. David Gorman" doesn't count either. Irrespective of whether or not someone later chooses to use their middle name, the stringent (not arbitrary) criteria revolve around someone whose given FOREname is "David". I don't particularly like the use of the word "prejudice" in the article, as it has completely unencyclopaedic connotations. I also think that your argument would be better served if you had read the book, and could understand Dave's motivation, attention to detail and the rules he feels necessary to place upon the quest (such as the later-introduced "miles per Dave Gorman") in order to make it worthwhile. It was his quest, who are you to say that he should and shouldn't have had various rules? Seb Patrick 20:25, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, the plaque outside the office was not deemed sufficient proof that the man in question actually referred to himself as "Dave Gorman" or "David Gorman". There could have been any number of reasons for that particular professional listing - such as, for example, the convention being to use initials, but there already being a "B.D. Gorman" listed, so it could be for disambiguation. Seb Patrick 20:27, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
There's no need to get personal. But, as you have chosen to do so...
"Who am I...?"
Well, I've always believed myself to be Grant Cribb. But apparently I've been living a lie all these years. As have millions of other people who don't happen to have their main forename placed first. By the criteria of your apparent frame of reference, one would have to say that James Brown is likely to be the first James to become prime minister since James Wilson – as Leonard Callaghan would have to be excluded.
However, I am mystified by your suggestion that I have at any point said that Dave "should and shouldn't have had various rules". All I have done is to clarify the discrepancy between what one might expect of a quest for Dave Gormans (i.e. a search for Gormans whose main forename is Dave or David) and this particular variant (a search for Gormans whose first forename is David).
Nobody particularly likes the use of the word 'prejudice' when their cherished assumptions are being challenged. But the first definition of the word in the Chambers Dictionary is: "a judgement or opinion formed prematurely or without due consideration of relevant issues". And I think this perfectly characterizes the statement "middle names do not count" – unless (as is clearly not the case here) 'middle name' is meant in the strict sense of a supplementary forename that happens to come between the main forename and the surname. (My supplementary forename is a precursory name rather than a middle name, and I resent the implication that my main forename is a so-called 'middle name', and thus not worthy of consideration.) If Dave had excluded smaller minorities (such as left-handed people or Welsh people), rather than the more substantial juxtonym minority, I don't think there would be much doubt that some of the other senses of 'prejudice' would also apply.
The prejudice that there is something special about the first forename, and that having one's main forename anywhere else is somehow odd, is a popular misconception. There is no 'default' position for a main forename. The same prejudice is evident in the above paragraphs from the following:
  • "realises that this child cannot count" (my emphasis)
  • "later..."
  • "...chooses to use their middle name"
  • SHOUTING the first syllable of 'forename' as if to imply (although by logic that escapes me) that only the first forename is a real forename
To maintain that it is less 'arbitrary' to ascertain whether someone is called Dave from the relative position of his forenames than from the fact that he spells David out in full and abbreviates his other forename to an initial seems to me frankly perverse.
Try asking people you know. You might even find that someone you always thought was a Dave has been an impostor all along. – Grant 13:04, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I was not talking about whether or not any name is more "special" than another. I capitalised the FORE part of forename to emphasise the meaning of the word - "fore" does not mean "best", it means "first". So when you say There is no 'default' position for a main forename, I'm afraid it's you that's labouring under a misconception - a misconception over the meaning of the word "forename". To reiterate my main point - Dave wanted to meet people whose given forename, like his, was "David", and whose given surname, like his, was "Gorman". He was not entering into a debate about whether or not middle names are more significant than forenames (I doubt anyone in their right mind would tell someone they're not entitled to use their middle name, frankly) - he wanted people whose names matched his. Someone whose first name was not Dave therefore did not qualify. This is not an "arbitrary" criterion - it was the entire point of the quest. As such, I don't really feel you're on the mark when you say that All I have done is to clarify the discrepancy between what one might expect of a quest for Dave Gormans (i.e. a search for Gormans whose main forename is Dave or David) and this particular variant (a search for Gormans whose first forename is David). Because personally, I think that most average people would assume that the quest was for people whose first (rather than main) name was Dave, just as DG's own is.
Sorry to [attempt to] disabuse you once again, but 'fore' certainly does not mean 'first'. If it did, then we really could have a debate about the meaning of 'forename', as 'first name' does indeed have a pedantic meaning in addition to its generally understood sense. In fact, the word 'fore' (in the positional sense) simply means 'situated in front of'. The prefix 'fore-' (from which the independent word derives) is used when:
  • "Forming ns. in senses 'in front (of), front-', as forecourt, forelimb, 'that is the front part of', as forearm, 'of, near, or towards the bow of a ship or connected with the foremast, forward', as forecastle, forehold..." (New SOED – my italics)
You would have to add '-most' to form the superlative.
(As you rightly point out, another thing 'fore' doesn't mean is 'best'. Not sure where you plucked that one from, though.)
Another concept you seem to have misunderstood is that of a 'given name'. You have applied the word 'given' tautologically to 'forename', as well as oxymoronically to 'surname'. Let me supply a glossary (all definitions from the New SOED):
  • forename A personal name which precedes the surname, a first name;
  • first name a person’s personal given or Christian name, as opp. to his or her surname (on first-name terms, sufficiently friendly to address each other by first names)
  • given That has been given; handed over, conferred, or bestowed as a gift; assigned or posited as a basis for calculation or reasoning, fixed, specified. Of a personal name: chosen for the particular individual and conferred at birth, baptism, etc.
  • second name spec. a surname
People don't tend to abbreviate their supplementary forenames, so it seems clear to me that Daves per se are going to be people whose main forename (i.e. the one they actually use) is David. It is the blind insistence (which, as far as I can see, can only be based on ignorance of the facts) on taking as a reference the name that just happens to have been placed first (perhaps, as in my case, simply for reasons of euphony) that is genuinely arbitrary (and smacks of bureaucratic laziness). I'm rather afraid that what you "personally... think that most average people would assume" is in reality merely a projection of your own unfounded assumptions onto other people. – Grant 12:16, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
However, this is a wider debate upon which I'm really not qualified to comment - and which you, judging by your Wikipedia edits, have a particular investment in. That's fair enough. What I do take issue with is the inherently NPOV edit that you made to the article - the tone of the remark about "B. David Gorman" was inherently skewed towards a particular viewpoint, in this instance a negative one.
Like all Wikipedians, my chief aim is to spread enlightenment. And that was the point of my "inherently NPOV edit". If you're saying that I take an interest in dispelling this particular misconception because its insidious grip on certain sectors of bureaucracy occasionally impacts negatively on my day-to-day life, then I'll hold my hand up. (But, as you can see, the vast majority of my Wikipedia edits – covering a wide spectrum of interests – have no connection whatever with the scourge of schizonymcentricity.)
Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of Dave's. I watched The Dave Gorman Collection twice on TV, and nearly killed myself laughing when I saw Googlewhack live. I admire Dave's dedication and the internal logic that underpins his shows. That's why this one glaring blind spot (to coin an oxymoron of my own) really irritates me – because it is not logical. Naturally, awareness of the blind spot informs my interpretation of the phrase "as far as he could see" in your paragraph below. I'm sure that I too have blind spots. I only hope that, when they are pointed out to me, I can think back to this discussion, and that it will inspire me to bypass the denial stage. – Grant 12:48, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I think that I agree with you to some extent, in as much as it's probably true that if Dave had actually gone to meet "B. David Gorman" and ascertained whether or not the gentleman did indeed use "David" as his main name, it could have been beneficial. However, you admit yourself that you have not read the book - therefore I'm not sure you understand the frame of mind that Dave was in at the time. To wit, he had spent a lot of money flying to New York on little more than an offchance, and at that moment it appeared as if he had wasted the time, money and effort, because as far as he could see, "David" was not the man's forename. This made him extremely stressed, and angry with himself, and all he could really do at the time was walk away and attempt to clear his head. No, he did not take the time to find out whether the man still called himself "Dave Gorman" or not - but to suggest that this was an "arbitrary" or "prejudiced" decision seems to me to be ill-informed - and even if you disagree, it's clear that this is a debatable point and one that therefore has no place in an encyclopaedia.
Dave did eventually meet B. David Gorman, but still refused to admit him to his coterie. As far as I remember, it is not made clear in the TV show whether B. David did turn out to be a Dave after all (as the evidence suggests). But look at it from Dave's point of view: If he felt foolish having crossed the Atlantic to meet someone who didn't count, how would he have looked if he'd had to admit that he'd crossed the Atlantic to meet someone who did count, but then hadn't counted him?
I'm sure that, at the time, Dave felt this decision was the 'natural' one to take (rather than arbitrary, prejudiced or ill-informed). But that was because he was not in possession of the facts. And I would venture to suggest that it is only because the scales have yet to fall from your own eyes that you find it necessary to concoct fanciful explanations for someone's being called B. David Gorman to supplant the obvious one – i.e. that's his name. Your hypothesis would require not only that B. D. Gorman was already taken, but that Brian (or whatever) D. Gorman was already taken, too! (And the medical profession is not Equity.) The scenario is also unlikely because the sort of bureaucracy that has such rules about names is precisely the sort of bureaucracy that attempts to label people with their first forename regardless – and thus helps to perpetuate the myth that that's how all 'normal' people should be labelled.
(As I recall, though, the 'David' in 'Justin David' probably was just a 'middle' name.) – Grant 12:48, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
(for the record, I know a number of people who have chosen to use their middle name rather than their given forename. And I really didn't mean to sound like I was making the issue "personal" - you seem to be taking issue with my use of the phrase "Who are you to...?", which I meant in relation to the quite disparaging way in which I felt the nature of Dave's quest was being questioned) - I'm merely standing up for NPOV perspectives on Wikipedia.) Seb Patrick 15:42, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Have you asked your friends whether they actually chose to use the names they are known by? Or have you just always assumed that to be the case – because it had never occurred to you that it was even possible for anyone always to have been (and always to have been intended to be) known by a name other than the one that appears first when their full name is written out?
And have you actually looked at the so-called List of people known by middle name? It's a double-edged sword, I know. Hopefully, it educates people – and they'll grow to realize that an awful lot of people have their names in a different order from theirs. On the other hand, by its very existence it helps to perpetuate the myth that this is somehow remarkable. And, of course, by nature of its being a list of famous people it gives scope to schizonym apologists to say, "Ah, but these are just stage names." Well, no – people who are on first-name terms with Paul McCartney have always called him Paul. Ditto Eric Bartholomew (Eric Morecambe). Ditto thousands of other famous people who aren't even on the list because no one's yet thought to check their full names. – Grant 12:48, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, thing is, I think it's supposed to be comedy... (talk) 14:04, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

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