Gallery A

Name Game

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Who’s On First? Nope, They Is

By James Donahue

He says he did it as a joke, and the former Andrew Wilson’s decision to have his name changed to "They" has all the earmarks of slapstick comedy.

The 43-year-old inventor from Branson, Mo. Was granted legal permission by a circuit judge to change his name to They. That’s all . . . just They. He has no surname.

He also changed his driver’s license and probably is working on other legal papers. I wonder how he will deal with his social security number.

They said he did it to humor the common reference to "they." People are always saying "they do this," or "they are to blame for whatever . . . "They accomplish such great things. Somebody had to take responsibility," he said.

Imagine how strange it will be to be living and working with someone with the name "They."

You would be forced to say such strange sounding things as "Hey, They." Or "What does They think?"

The telephone rings and a voice asks: "Is They there?" Or "May I speak to They?"

He agrees that the name is going to drive grammarians crazy.

"He’s messing with the entire English language," one friend said.