Wookey - is that it?

I've always been called Wookey - ever since I went to the sort of school where they just use your surname when I was a kid. Eventually I decided to make it official (by Statutory Declaration) and drop my first name, so since 1987 I've been 'Wookey' (no forenames or initials).

Plea to web-form authors

These days I get a lot of aggravation from web-forms that insist everyone should have two names. Please - if you are writing web forms, do not make it impossible to use your system without two names. Would you really prefer that I made up a name in order to buy something (possibly something important) from you, or otherwise register with you? Possible approaches are to enter name as one field, or to allow one or other field to be blank and go to a '<name> field left blank - is that really correct?' page. e.g. as at http://www.bytemark.co.uk/

There are millions more people with only one name in Southern India, Indonesian and Pakistan, who collectively might make it worth your while to be flexible in your 'Name' field. Here are a couple of postings on why trying to force names into fields corresponding to your local cultural conventions is hopeless, and very irritating to your users:

Side effects and musings

Due to sensible name entry not being provided in many places I am often 'XXXX Wookey', or '. Wookey', but those are definately not really my name. That would be silly.

Only having one name can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but it does also have hidden advantages. For many years the Phone book software obviously couldn't cope so I was ex-directory for free. I'm sure it helps protect against cross-organisation datamining, and from time to time I reckon scripts and database queries break and ignore me - which can be either a plus or a minus, depending on what they were going to send with the info. It also amuses passport officials the world over, who sometimes have to go and show their mates (I guess looking at everyone's passports isn't a very exciting job). Occasionally I have to be rescued by my wife who promises that I am merely a harmless weirdo and if they just let me in to the country no harm will come of it.

Perhaps the most amusing part is financial institutions who insist that it must be fraudulent to only have one name and I can't possibly be who I say I am. Clearly giving them the _wrong_ name might be fraudulent, and if I did want to cause trouble I wouldn't use a particularly recognisable name, and then make them take notice by arguing about web-forms and processes. They all seem incapable of understanding this simple truth.

Latest tiresome outfits are facebook and google+, who both insist I can't join without forwarding goverment-provided proof of I.D., even though you can join with any 2-part name you care to choose. Idiots. Still, they are both dubious institutions best avoided anyway.