Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The personal mark

Presented with the total on the LCD screen, I swiped my credit card and crafted my new signature in the big, loopy letters I thought might attract a little attention. Instead of ‘‘Alex Kuczynski,’’ I wrote ‘‘Snooki’’ with a heart over the ‘‘i.’’ [...]

I went bolder. Buying baby wipes and ointment at the drugstore chain CVS, I signed, very legibly, ‘‘Cher.’’ Another day, ‘‘Kim Jong-il.’’ I thought signing the name of a North Korean dictator — whose name clearly didn’t jibe with my Caucasian features — would stir some sign of life in the checkout clerk. Nothing. [...]

The philosophical idea of the personal mark has evaporated.

—Alex Kuczynski, "Identity Crisis," NYT, 10/3/10


On still other important documents, a single official’s name is signed in such radically different ways that some appear to be forgeries. Additional problems have emerged when multiple banks have all argued that they have the right to foreclose on the same property, a result of a murky trail of documentation and ownership. —"Flawed Bank Paperwork Aggravates a Foreclosure Crisis," NYT, one day later (10/4/10)

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