As a sideline, there are also a large number of people named ‘Alan Thomas’ around. This was brought home to me when I worked at the OU in Bletchley years ago. There was an Alan R Thomas also working there and we were forever getting each others mail and phonecalls, which could sometimes be highly embarrassing. Someone would phone and it was often only after about five minutes that you realised you had no idea who they were and what they were talking about! Ever since I have always included my initial in any ‘official’ context.