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Re: CHAT: "John Doe" equivalents sought

From:DOUGLAS KOLLER <laokou@...>
Date:Sunday, May 21, 2000, 23:14
From: "Daniel Seriff"

> > I've been asked on another mailing list to collect "dummy names" from > > other cultures. In Anglo-America, the names "John Doe" and "Richard Roe" > > (and female equivalents with "Jane") are used in the legal system and > > elsewhere for people whose names are not known.
> I've heard "John Q. Public" and "Jane Q. Public", but this seems to be a > rather stilted '40s & '50s American usage. It sounds like you'd hear it > on an old WWII news reel, referring to all the folks working at home in > the factories.
In my idiolect at least, John/Jane Doe would be the name attached to a cadaver or missing person whose identity was unknown. John Q. Public refers to the average American man in the street, thus when you stick a microphone in his face and ask John Q. Public to opine on a given topic, you're trying to gauge how average, Mom's-apple-pie Americans feel about it. Kou