Yes, I have a middle initial

I suspect few people know that I have a middle initial. Which is probably fair enough as I rarely use it. And like Michael J Fox, it doesn’t actually stand for anything.

So, what is it and why do I use it?

First of all, let’s get the “what” over with – it’s X. So, David X Artiss. No, I didn’t copy it from David X. Cohen.

He chose to use the middle initial “X”—because it sounded “sci-fi-ish” – and has jokingly said that the “X” would make him “the David Cohen people would remember”. The “X” does not actually stand for anything.

I was using mine way, way before David Cohen was.

So, now the why.

As a teenager I spent far too much of my time in video game arcades (mainly playing Outrun and, when friends were with me, Gauntlet). At the top of this post you can see a typical high score board for an arcade machine – what you may notice is that names consisted of 3 digits. This was because you were choosing letters using a simple joystick so nobody had time for anything longer. Plus storage space was at a premium. So, 3 digits it was. And many didn’t allow spaces – just letters. Which made my middle-name-less initials a problem – you can’t fit DA into 3 digits. So DXA was invented. It had the advantage of being pretty unique – I never came across another DXA on a scoreboard.

But, like David X. Cohen, the X doesn’t stand for anything (as a Marvel fan, my wife has suggested “Xavier”).

After the arcades faded, I stopped using it, only for it to be resurrected a number of years ago at the request of my wife, who liked it. I’ve never used it on anything official, though, and for the last few years I’ve stopped using it again.

However, with a David Artiss in Canada and a David J Artiss in the US, maybe it’s time to resurrect the X.


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