SQL: Database Design -> What's in a Name?

Just after I was born, my mother and father called me Gregory. Ever since then, everyone has called me Greg. And that included my parents. To this day, my mother calls me Greg and so did my dad while he was alive (miss you dad).

However, every time I need to fill in an official form, I have to write Gregory. I could change that to Greg if I changed my name legally but I'm not going to do that. People who have had previous names will tell you that can add even more complexity.

But I have to say that every time I get a letter from a bank, a utility company, etc. or every time I'm addressed by someone in a hospital or government office, they address me as Gregory. Each and every time they do that, at first, I end up momentarily thinking "who?".

Then it's obvious to me that as much as this person is trying to sound friendly, they haven't managed to do so. It immediately puts a barrier between us. Clearly they don't actually know me.

You might think "well what can I do about that?" or "how's that my problem?" or "what's this got to do with SQL?"

And I'll tell you.

Every time you build a computer system or database that has no option for a customer/member/client/patient/etc. to record what they'd like to be called, you add to the problem.

Please consider always having a PreferredName column or something similar in every design you create.

 

 

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