Do you ever read the little notices that appear in the back pages of your local newspaper?
Our legal system often relies on the concept of giving people “notice” as a central element of fairness and due process — and these agate-type announcements can satisfy the legal requirements. The law presumes that somebody is going to read the notices and then take action to protect their rights. Maybe that someone should be you.
Sometimes, too, the notices are so odd that they are interesting in their own right. Consider the notice, typos and all, that appeared in our local newspaper recently:
“This is informed that I Pranshu Mittal (New Name) formerly called Pranshu (Old Name), resident of 4114 Times Square blvd, Dublin- Ohio 43016 , Hereby, Solemnly declare that , I must be called Pranshu Mittal for all proceedings, dealings and transactions private as well as public and upon all occasions whatsoever.”
Obviously, this notice raises questions about Pranshu Mittal’s specific circumstances. Many people would like to become one-name wonders, like Prince or Madonna or Cher, but Pranshu Mittal has decided to move in the opposite direction. And he’s clearly serious about it, because he’s “solemnly declared” it for all to see and instructed that he “must” be called Pranshu Mittal for all dealings, “private as well as public,” and “upon all occasions whatsoever.” If Pranshu Mittal is married, does this mean his wife must call him by the full “Pranshu Mittal” name during the private moments in their marriage? And does this mean no co-worker can call Pranshu Mittal by any other name like, say, “Pran the Man”? If so, that’s useful information for those us who want to shuck off, once and for all, a hated nickname.
So there you have it: Pranshu Mittal has given notice, and all of us are presumed to have read it and adjusted our actions accordingly. Keep that in mind the next time you see him — and be sure to call him by the right name, will you?