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A Piece of My Mind
October 25, 2000

My Name Is Jack

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(16):2027. doi:10.1001/jama.284.16.2027

Name, please," queried the young man behind the counter of a popular hamburger stand in the university district. Quickly and confidently, I answered, "Jack." "That will be right out, sir," smiled the previously beleaguered boy. Turning, I encountered the usual admonition of my exasperated wife: "Why don't you use your own name? You are so childish."

I like the name Jack. To me it is a name of strength, athleticism, and honesty. It reminds me of Jack Kennedy, Jack Armstrong, Jack Dempsey, and especially my father, Jack. Responding with "My name is Jack" in restaurants or hamburger joints almost always brings a smile in return, in contrast to my real name, which elicits quizzical looks and numerous recantations. Besides, I enjoy being childish at times—often to fulfill my wife's worst expectations after so many years of mischievousness.