When you really think about it, our name is really the only thing we have that is ours. I mean really ours. Someone, usually our parents, gives us a name when we are born and that name follows us through our entire lives, good or bad, forever. When we are given our names sometimes they come with a history. Perhaps you were named after you grandmother or grandfather, maybe one of your parents or aunts or uncles. Whoever you were named after, the shared name sometimes creates a bond that lasts through the decades and sometimes not.
I do wish that some people would think more about the names they decide to saddle their kids with. I can't imagine that Stanley Harold Isaac Thompson thanks his parents when he gets his monogrammed towels each Christmas (apologies to anyone out there with that particular name—I chose these particular names only for comic effect, I assure you). Or that the triplets Candi, Randi and Bambi, appreciate the stereotypical image that these names might bring to mind. Then there are those more obscure names that kids are punished with like Snowflake, Dandelion or Pussywillow. I mean, where do people get some of these odd names, at the bottom of the Chardonnay bottle?
Love them or hate them, take them or leave them, our names are usually ours, by the fact that we are given them at birth, registered legally with the government and used throughout our lives. Now it seems that there is one area that our names might not be our own. Yes, as always, the internet. Did you know that you can register your name as an internet domain name? So yes, Theophilus Dondilinger, you can name a website after yourself. For a yearly fee, you can be the (possibly?) proud owner of theophilusdondilinger.ca. But did you also know that anyone else can register your name, either with or without your knowledge and consent?
In the wonderful world of the internet your name can be someone else's for a small fee and some paperwork. You have no real control (much like getting your name in the first place I guess). Anyone can use your name for any reason, good or bad as long as they keep paying for the privilege. There are ways to get it back but they all take time, effort or money (rich and famous people often have to pay the registered owners of their online name for the rights to get it back) or all three and there is no guarantee of success.
This isn't a problem for most of us, nor will it ever be. But if you ever become rich and famous, please let me know—just make sure I have the correct spelling of your name when you do, would you?