C. Warren Axelrod

Will the Real Sam DeKay Stand Up?

I consider myself as having a relatively rare name, but there are at least three or four others of the same name out there on the Web, and likely more in the real world. One is a Cadillac dealer, another the head of a leasing company, and a third is the husband of Kim and they recently had a baby girl. Yet another appeared in some California legal proceedings back in 1961. Then the name has appeared in fiction in a novel by Josh Emmons and an Axelrod appears as a character in a play, where it so happens the prior name was that of actress Jennifer Warren. Moreover there are all those popular books about tropical fish, of which the authors include Warren Burgess and Herbert Axelrod.

Well some of the discrepancies are obvious and can be discarded, but such confusion can certainly lead to problems.

Recently, I was looking up someone on LinkedIn and two individuals appeared with the same unusual name … one in Nebraska and the other in Florida. I asked a mutual friend which one was the person I was looking for. The answer was “both.” One identity was obsolete, but was still out there.

Many may not see this as much of a problem. But mistaken identity can have similar adverse effects to those of identity theft. It can certainly be irritating, and may lead to costly confusion. So be careful what you assume about someone’s real identity in the virtual world of the Internet … you may have the wrong John Smith.

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