James Kanze wrote:
> 
> Generally speaking, people don't go by such names in Europe.  You have
> a family name, which would be preceded by a Mr. (or Herr, or M.), and
> used to address you by people who don't know you very well.  And you
> have a name which people who know you well call you -- do your friends
> call you W. Wesley, or something else.  Thus, in America, I am
> generally "James A. Kanze", and people (including people who've just
> met me) try and call me Jim, whereas in Europe, I'm just "James
> Kanze" ; people who know me well call me "James", but for most people,
> I'm "Kanze", or "Mr. Kanze".
....
> Note that most Europeans do have two first names.  It's just rare for
> documents (or data bases) to use them.  Once or twice, people have
> entered my name into the data base from my (American) passport; the
> result is that my first name appears as "James Albert" (often with a
> hyphen), as if it were a compound name (a frequent occurance in
> France).

[a bit OT]

Officially in Spain we have one first name (simple or compound) and TWO
family names, one from the father and one from the mother (in that order
by default, but can be changed). And women don't change their name when
they marry. Often the first (paternal) family name is enough, but a
proper identification needs the second (maternal) one too.

And again this is hard to fit in american style forms that require a
(proper) first name, a middle name and a (family) last name.

  Alvaro Segura Lasa
  (Segura is not my middle name, it's my paternal family name :-)