Jeffrey R. (Sydd) Souza

Q: So... Why are you called Sydd if your name is Jeffrey?

A: What I usually tell people is that it's a long & boring story, as you'll see if you read on. Otherwise, get out now while you still can!

This dates back to when I was in Boy Scouts in gradeschool (I was a pyromaniac - had a friend that once cut down a "tree" [about as thick as your pinky] at summer camp with a BIC lighter -- I wasn't THAT bad). Our local church had a section of its bulletin entitled How They Met. They basically queried married parish members about the circumstances of their meeting and published their quaint stories.

My folks were asked and described their "storybook" meeting. My Dad was skiing. He fell and broke his leg -- go figure, skiing. My Mom was his attending nurse in the hospital. They seemed to hit it off well enough that the doctor assigned to the case joked about their naming their first child after him. His last name escapes me, but you might well guess his first name.

Our Founder [a few years ago]
Our Founder [a few years ago]

For some reason my scout troop scoutmaster (I admit it, I was a geek -- I got better, as Monty would say), after reading this tale in the bulletin, began calling me Sid. Then others did, until nobody but my immediate family called me by my real name. It's kind of funny because I wasn't the first child, rather the fourth of six. The name was so well established by highschool that many didn't know my real first name (happens all the time at work, I sometimes miss phone calls because nobody knows who this Jeffrey Souza is). In highschool there was a Senior whose nickname Peco was, for some reason, spelled like this:PAYCCO. Well heck, I thought to myself, I can do that too! So I started spelling it Sydd. I also figured, if anyone were to call me Sidney, that it would be spelled with a hyphen: SYDD-NEY. Sha, monkeys.

Nowadays I'm actually slightly taken aback when anyone but my loved ones calls me Jeffrey. It's kinda like my "personal name" where Sydd is my public, or business name. Don't worry, I won't bite your head off if you call me Jeff, but don't be surprised if I don't respond right away. And no, I don't prefer Sydd over Jeff necessarily - I like my given name; gave it to my son in fact (though he has a different middle name so he's not stuck being a Junior or stuck-up using a II or "the second" after his name). But then, he's not old enough to even spell pretentious yet so... Yes I have kids, 4 in fact, 3 girls and the youngest is the boy.

I read somewhere that the word sydd in Gaelic is added to certain sentences to provide emphasis. For example, the Gaelic sentence "Rydw i'n darllen" means "I am reading". However, "Fi sydd yn darllen" which also means "I am reading" would come across more like "I am reading, NOT YOU!" . I've also run across it quite frequently in Norwegian web pages, though I have yet to discover the english translation. I'm hoping it's not something like "dungheap shoveler" rather, something like "stud muffin" which, if you add the Gaelic usage becomes "mega stud muffin" or might simply come across as "STUD muffin, NOT BLUEBERRY".

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After college, the SyddWare joke came into being, and now it's bordering on being serious. The SyddWare Ducky (sm) or Sydducky(sm), as my daughter called it, came later and is the result of my quest to find a logo that was simple, could be easily ASCII-ized (or Smiley'd) and didn't take itself too seriously. By the way, the official SyddWare font, like you care, is Artistik, a generally available TrueType Font. Check out my ongoing pages in Sydd's Internet Zoo and the "Hork"-tionary.

Toldja it was long...

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