Randomness at “At Random”

30 04 2007

WordPress, the people behind the software that runs this blog and hundreds of thousands of others, have added yet another cool feature – this time it’s one for readers, not for owners.

To read a random post from this blog (or any other WordPress blog), just type ?random at the end of the URL. For example, http://sandgroper14.wordpress.com/?random

I’d forgotten I’d even written some of these!





Fake names for documentation

30 04 2007

Last week a discussion on one of my tech writing lists focused on using fictitious names in documentation, such as in Name fields in software and websites that are used in training, demonstrations, and screenshots in the manuals. One thing you don’t want to do is use a set of real names from a real client. In fact, I heard of an instance – it may be an apocryphal tale – where a real person’s name was projected on a large screen, and some in the training session got very upset as that person had died very recently.

So this discussion offered some ideas for ‘dummy’ names that you could use. Now, whether you would actually use any of these is not my call – you’d have to make your own decision based on who you work for and who your audience is!

Here’s a sample of some that were offered:

“Punny” names:

  • Patty O’Furniture
  • Ann Chovey
  • Hazel Nutt
  • Chris P. Bacon
  • Marsha Mellow
  • Olive Yew
  • Barb Akew
  • Aida Bugg
  • Maureen Biologist
  • Teri Dactyl
  • Peg Legge
  • Allie Grater
  • Liz Erd
  • A. Mused
  • Constance Noring
  • Lois Di Nominator
  • Minnie Van Ryder
  • Lynn O’Leeum
  • P. Ann O’Recital
  • Ray O’Sun
  • Ray Sin
  • Isabelle Ringing
  • Eileen Sideways
  • Rita Book
  • Paige Turner
  • Rhoda Report
  • Augusta Wind
  • Chris Anthemum
  • Anne Teak
  • U.R. Nice
  • Anita Bath
  • Harriet Upp
  • I.M. Tired
  • I. Missy Ewe
  • Ivana B. Withew
  • Anita Letterback
  • Hope Furaletter
  • B. Homesoon
  • Bea Mine
  • Bess Twishes
  • C. Yasoon
  • Audie Yose
  • Dee End
  • Amanda Hug
  • Frank Furter
  • Ben Dover
  • Eileen Dover
  • Willie Makit
  • Willie Findit
  • Barry Cuda
  • Barry Mundy
  • John Dory
  • Addie Minstra
  • Anne Ortha
  • Dave Allippa
  • Dee Zynah
  • Hugh Mannerizorsa
  • Loco Lyzayta
  • Manny Jah
  • Mark Ateer
  • Reeve Ewer
  • Tex Ryta
  • Theresa Green
Fictional and Biblical characters:

  • Lois Lane
  • Clark Kent
  • Ralph and Alice Kramden
  • Holly Golightly
  • Liza Doolittle
  • Henry Higgins
  • Joseph Arimathea
  • Mary Magdalene
  • Simon Cyrene
  • Dixie Normous (“Austin Powers”)
  • Felicity Shagwell (“Austin Powers”)
  • Ivana Humpalot (“Austin Powers”)
  • Plenty O’Toole (“Bond” movies)
  • Tiffany Case (“Bond” movies)
  • Shady Tree (“Bond” movies)
  • Kissy Suzuki (“Bond” movies)
  • Pussy Galore (“Bond” movies)
  • Honey Ryder (“Bond” movies)
  • Sylvia Trench (“Bond” movies)
  • Lupe Lamora (“Bond” movies)
  • May Day (“Bond” movies)
  • Jenny Flex (“Bond” movies)
  • Penelope Smallbone (“Bond” movies)
  • Holly Goodhead (“Bond” movies)
  • Mary Goodnight (“Bond” movies)
  • Chew Mee (“Bond” movies)
  • Ruby Bartlett (“Bond” movies)
Purely made up:

  • Melody Sunshine
  • Dustin Trailblazer
  • Donald Canard (Donald Duck)
  • Michael J. Reynard (Michael J Fox)
  • Michael Souris (Mickey Mouse)

If you need ‘real’ names, you can always try some of the many random name generators on the internet. You can get some very weird ones (like Klingon names, fantasy names, etc.), but there are ‘real’ names among all that too. One that I particularly like takes the names from the various US census and mixes them up according to popularity, gender, etc. Try it at: http://www.kleimo.com/random/name.cfm (another one I found when looking for this one was:
http://www.behindthename.com/random/)

(Thanks to the contributors on the STC Lone Writers discussion list)








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