Whilst this story clearly won't be as funny as it's inspiration, Are You Dave Gorman?, the story behind this blog post made me smile at least. So without further ado...
Last Sunday, on what was a remarkably fine day in Manchester (I think this is probably the first time I've ever seen the sun appear over Manchester), I found myself running a workshop on Information Retrieval for Question Answering (IR4QA) as part of a a conference on Computational Linguistics. At most of the big conferences there are student volunteers who help with setting up projectors etc. and generally ensure that things run smoothly. The workshop was no different and I quickly spotted my helpful volunteer due to the exceedingly bright blue T-shirt with the conference log on it. Having checked that I didn't have any problems she sat quietly at the back until lunch time.
I was just packing up my laptop, as I wasn't going to leave it laying about over lunch, when she came across and started a conversation with the question "Are you the English Coffee Drinker?". Given that I wasn't exactly thinknig about this blog at the time it took me a second or so before I answered with a surprised yes.
It turns out that she had found out she was getting a new office mate called Mark Greenwood and so had Googled his name to find out who he was. She had worked out it wasn't me but thought she'd point out that there would be another Mark Greenwood working in a related field to me.
Bizarrelly I already knew about an R. Mark Greenwood who works in Manchester and whom I'm sometimes confused with as he also publishes papers in related fields, but this also wasn't the one she was talking about. So there are now at least three people called Mark Greenwood working in fields related to natural language processing -- it's a good job I always use my middle initial when publishing papers so the chances are good that if something is writen by Mark A. Greenwood then that is actually me.
So are you reading this thinking I'm also called Mark Greenwood? If you are then please leave me a comment and let me know what you do and lets see how many Mark Greenwoods we can find. I may even start plotting us on a map!