But sometimes those comments are just so... "good"... that I have to make sure you all see them.
For example, in August 2004, I wrote a post called "Law and The Amazing Race." In it, I added, regarding Mirna, a participant of that season's Amazing Race, after noting that I did not like her name:
...[t]he most surprising part is that Mirna isn't even her first name, it's her middle name.
I understand that sometimes people have a good reason for using their middle name. Maybe it sounds better, maybe it's less confusing. But if my first name was Lara and my middle name was Mirna, you could bet I'd go by Lara.
I think my post is clear: I don't think "Mirna," is a nice sounding name. (The word I used in the original post was "awful.") If I had a choice over the name "Lara" or the name "Mirna," I would choose "Lara."
I wrote that I think sometimes people have a good reason for using their middle name. Sometimes parents name a child after another family member, for instance, and then use the middle name to differentiate.
I'm personally from the school of thought that a middle name should be more like an accent, and if that's what your parents want to call you, they should make it your first name. I think a middle name should be more like the flower in your hair, not your whole outfit, you know what I mean?
Someone commented (back in 2004), that they don't trust people who use their middle name. I don't really care. Personally, I don't really trust people who have first names as both their first name and their last name. (Like, "Joseph Thomas," where "Thomas" is the surname - but you weren't really sure - maybe that's his middle name, right?) And I realize it's something you can't really control. But still, I feel like, at best, it's confusing, and at worst, it's kind of shifty.
I'm also a little confused by women who have compound first names, like "Mary Beth," but "Mary Beth" is their first name, not their first and middle name. Because, really, how can you tell? I mean, if your birth certificate says Mary Beth Smith, it sure looks to me like your first name is "Mary" and your middle name is "Beth." And then when you correct me and say, "No, my first name is Mary Beth," I think, "Well, ok, maybe your parents called you Mary Beth, but the first name on your birth certificate is Mary and the name Beth really falls in the middle, doesn't it?"
And, you know, we all judge people by their names, sometimes before we even meet them. (Men, tell me you'd want to go on a blind date with a "Hilda," "Gertrude," or "Esther," rather than a "Christina," "Allison," or "Kathryn.") That's why there is such pressure on new parents to come up with good names for their children.
So, the only real problem I have with people who use their middle name instead of their first name is when their first name is the nicer name. (If you were born "Sarah Gertrude Smith" and you're going by "Gertrude," I personally question your judgment. Period.) We all have our ideas of what are names are nice and what names aren't, or what names fit a person, and what names don't. So if you don't like your first name, use your middle name. And if you don't like your middle name, no one has to know it. And if you don't like either name, come up with your own nickname.
But, please, don't be such a crybaby like this commenter, who, just yesterday, left this comment on my Amazing Race post from over 3 years ago:
I want to make a comment about idiots saying that people who go by their middle names shouldn't be trusted by anyone. That is a retarded and bigoted statement to make about people. I go by my middle name and my parents forced me to do this every single day of my life. This means that my parents started doing this to me on the day of my birth. My older brother, sister and some of our cousins were also forced by our parents to do this from the time of their births. Almost everyone that I know who is called by their middle name was forced to do this from their birth as well. Why on earth do you idiots force people from birth to go by their middle names, get amnesia about us, refuse to accommodate us, screw up our names on every single legal document and then punish us because of your stupidity? Why don't you quit creating the problem that you hate so much and stop acting like a bunch of jerks because of it? If you want to screw up someone's name and punish them for it, then you should feel free to screw up your own names. Leave other people alone about this because it is rude.
Leave other people alone? Really? Because it kind of seems like maybe you were out searching for the topic.
But, more importantly, if you're old enough to use the internet, then you're old enough to say, "From now on, I'm going by my first name, and that is that." It might be a little confusing for a while - like when your high school friends who know you as "Gertrude" come visit you at college and meet your friends who know you as "Sarah." But they'll get over it.
And maybe that will help you get over it.