Why it pays to be the only one with your name

I would have thought Clive Shepherd was a fairly distinctive name. Very few people born in England and its former colonies (Clive James – Australia, Clive Lloyd – West Indies), now all middle-aged because the fashion for the name was short-lived, are unfortunate enough to have been named after Major General Robert Clive, also known as Clive of India (1725-1774). Here he is below:

Shepherd is a common enough surname, but even that can be spelt many different ways and usually not in the way you’d normally describe the person who looks after sheep.

So, it was quite a surprise to discover some years ago that the domain cliveshepherd.com had been taken (although as I check right now it’s available again – woopee, I must nab it). Worse still, cliveshepherd.com was the site for an easy listening Hammond organist from Blackpool who you could book for parties. He was bald and middle-aged. He could be mistaken for me!!!

I must admit I’d forgotten about Clive Shepherd the organist, although I did Google him this morning. He appears on YouTube in the backing band for Lecresia Campbell in her gig at the Wembley Arena. I’ve no idea if it’s the same person.

Anyway, where this is leading is to the other Clive Shepherd, and yes, there is a third. Through Google Alerts I was shocked to find that Clive Shepherd had been cited on the Solicitors from Hell site as “a nasty, money grabbing man who shouts at his clients, bullies his staff,threatens violence against his opponents in Court and lies and manipulates every situation so that he can make more money from the Legal Aid Contract he holds. He is unreliable, palms work off at the last minute and tries to charm his female clients into going out to dinner with him!!”

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As this Clive Shepherd is a lawyer, I’d better make clear that these comments may well be the work of a prankster, and are most probably a misrepresentation. Whatever happens, I do hope they are not intended as a description of me!

Which only goes to show that the only way to completely protect your identity is to have name that is unique. My sister Anna achieved this when she married a man called Tanner, but that’s another story.

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