Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
What's In A Name & What Does It Mean?
Sun May 14, 2017 00:50

Interesting about the three name thing, Bob. Not sure what to make of it. How's about John Wesley Hardin?

But seriously: I've read Zorn's book and saw the TV special. The book was good if not convincing; an excellent read, I recommend it highly.

One thing about names: it just takes one person who uses a name to make a name valid. For instance: when I was growing up my father called two neighbors of ours by different names than everyone else used. He had an extremely peculiar sense of humor but no one took offense, thus a German national whose real name was Gerd became "Igor",--but just for my father--and another neighbor, an elderly man across the street whose last name was Anthony became Marc! It took me a few years of growing up to get the joke.

This isn't something that I've seen or heard a lot in my life but I know that it's not unique. Everyone calls a red-headed guy in work by his real name, Fred, but his boss calls him Red. It happens, or used to happen, all the time.

I worked with a couple of middle aged women in my first real job and one called the other "Woodrow", which was not her real name or even close. I have no idea why. Some short guys are called Shorty by some of their friends but not by others. Tall guys used to be (sometimes) called Stretch. I remember in I think it was Of Mice & Men the Hispanic guy being called Mex by his Anglo co-workers, and I rather doubt his family and friends called him that.

To return to my it just takes one point: Since Hauptmann's real first name actually was Bruno it strikes me as not unlikely that it was occasionally used by people who knew him, especially in business, not by those close to him. He probably despised it but there may have been reasons for his not objecting, while his closer friends knew better. Again, it just takes one. In Hauptmann's case, given his elusive ways, his criminal background (double life?) it seems to me likely that this happened, and more than once.

I'm not trying to invalidate the chorus of friends and acquaintances who claimed "no one called Richard Bruno" but no one is a lot people, and Hauptmann lived, I think most of us agree, a "compartmentalized" life. It was his nature to live this way, leaving aside guilt or innocence. If I know nothing else about the man my sense is that, to put another spin on this, no one, even those who knew him well, knew him best, could, in talking about Hauptmann truly, accurately, use the turn of phrase "no one" (or nobody, or even never) when referring to the man.

The aforementioned is not so much an attempt on my part to validate the Zorn statement, as I have no doubt that those close to Hauptmann who stated "no one called Richard Bruno" were telling the truth as they knew it. My intention was to leave the door open, if only just a little, for some doubt as to the literal truth of what they claimed.


  • three-names or two?bob mills for ronelle and forum, Thu May 11 18:31
    Ronelle, he was "Richard" to everyone in his social milieu, and he only wanted to be known as "Richard." But if my memory serves, he was "Bruno Richard Hauptmann" on his driver's license, which... more
    • What's In A Name & What Does It Mean? — jdb, Sun May 14 00:50
      • yes, everything in this universe is "possible"Ronelle to JDB, Tue May 16 01:13
        But, the idea that a 15 year old boy who understands no word of the German language "remembers" - by way of a provocative article in a magazine 3 decades later - a "secret plot" spoken supposedly for ... more
        • Yesjdb, Tue May 16 03:13
          Yes, Ronelle, I too am dubious as to the value of shrinks, faith healers, therapists of all kinds but the physical; and I may as well throw the so-called political pundits who dominate the airwaves... more
          • JFC - a kidnapper?Ronelle to jdb, Wed May 17 01:00
            "That there appears to be some evidence that John Condon may have had pedophile tendencies when he was a much younger man could have been dragged into the case as yet another reason for what... more
            • Word Usagejdb, Wed May 17 03:02
              Alas, Ronelle, my post featured some unfortunate word usage, by which I didn't mean to imply that the elderly Condon had any designs whatsoever on toddler CAL, Jr. or that the police seriously... more
          • little green menRonelle to John JDB, Tue May 16 22:12
            I would have to re-read Schoenfeld all over again and nowadays I don't think I could keep even one eyelid open doing that. Though there would certainly have to be some sort of "expertise" involved in ... more
    • Re: three-names or two?Joe for Bob Mills, Fri May 12 13:21
      He never went by "Bruno Richard Hauptmann" before his arrest, even on his driver's license. A couple of authors have written have claimed this was the name that came back to Finn from the department... more
Click here to receive daily updates