Over the Transom: Common Name Edition

I have a common name in the English speaking world: William Moore.  I am named after my father and paternal grandfather, both of whom were known as Billy as boys and Bill as adults.  My parents called me Willy as a boy, and when it became clear when I began to seek employment that “Willy” was not considered acceptable,[1] I dropped the “y” and became Will.

Fast forward to 1995 or ’96 I got an email account with apple.  “MyName”@apple.com was available, so I happily grabbed it.  Since then I have had a handful of “I’m not that Will Moore” over the transom Internet interactions, each of which originated from the UK.  During the late 1990s and early 2000s I would periodically receive plaudits or other email messages intended for someone who was a musician in a band and was living a more interesting night than I.  I was able to figure out who he was, and would forward him the errant messages.  Some time during the 2000s he abandoned that email address, and not long thereafter the messages stopped.

There were a few other instances during the late 2000s, but nothing memorable.  Roughly a month ago I received an updated profile confirmation from the Golf Club of a prestigious British university.  One of my namesakes apparently was on that University’s golf team during his studies, and they keep some sort of team alumni registry.

But the most curious exchange has been an on again, off again series of iMessages that began in late 2014, and tend to produce a flurry about every four months or so.  Another of namesakes appears to have broken a woman’s heart, and quite possibly been something from a cad to an outright emotionally abusive, harassing prick.  When these missives began I responded that I was not the Will Moore she was trying to reach, but it turns out that is something of a non-credible claim in such a situation.  As the images below demonstrate, a jilted lover does not necessarily accept such a claim as true.

I did not take screen shots of the first several batches of messages: I tried to explain the mistaken identity, and when that failed, blocked the number and deleted the messages.  But last November the following set led me to take screen shots just in case a UK attorney got in touch with me (read it and you will understand).


I have no clue whether “Mr Tom” is an attorney, but he might be, so I figured a record might be a good idea.  Later that same day another spate rolled in.



A few hours later, this rolled in.


As I had before, I explained that I am not the Will Moore she thinks I am, that I live in Arizona, and sent her a link to my website to bolster the claim.  Then I blocked the number.

Well, yesterday and today produced a new round (she must change phone #s every so often).  As in the past, they are odd, kind of confusing, and reveal someone handling a break-up poorly (I assume you have been there–I know I don’t want to be judged by some of the foolish, stupid things I have done pursuing one who dumped me). FebOne


Once again I explained who I am, which produced the following response.  I then blocked the number.



The Internet has facilitated a number of curious interactions in my life.  In this case I hope she is able to move on and put my namesake out of her thoughts and life.  But I won’t be stunned if I get a new flurry of messages this summer.


[1] The first time I was given grief was purchasing school books my freshman year in high school (1976, Glenbrook North, IL, USA): I was 14.  The woman behind the counter laughed when I said my name was “Willy Moore.”  I looked puzzled, and she asked me what was my real name.  When I protested that was my real name, she looked irritated and said: “That’s a black name.  Let me see your ID.”  Bamboozled, I handed her my brand spanking new ID.  She frowned at it, handed it back, and silently got the books I needed.  Two later events led me to change to “Will.”  When I was 20 I landed a job as a waiter at The 94th Aero Squadron, a national chain of steak houses.  When offering me the job the manager asked me what I wanted to be known by.  Puzzled, I told him “Willy.”  “You can’t be Willy.  That’s a boy’s name.  We’ll call you Bill.”  I told him my dad’s name was Bill, and I could go by Will if that was necessary.  “Fine, Will then,” he declared.  Two year’s later after interviewing for an office equipment sales job, I had more or less the same conversation with the sales manager who hired me.

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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