Counterpoint: "Mr. Williams, stop having sex with your wife for a moment and see if she’s all right. That’s not usually how sex works.... Can Joe Schmoe and his wife really only refrain from quarrels and take turns doing the dishes if the sex is excellent and plentiful? Well, how did Joe and Mrs. Schmoe meet in the first place? What qualities was Mrs. Schmoe drawn to in her future spouse? Not generosity or forgiveness or industry, apparently, because Williams claims we learn those from sexual intercourse."
ADDED: I got distracted from all that sex onto the question of how to spell Schmoe. I would have thought Schmo, which was, after all, the spelling used for the old "Joe Schmo Show" (remember I used to blog that?). I'm pleased to see that Wikipedia has an entry for "Joe Shmoe" (notice: that's a third spelling):
Joe Shmoe (also spelled Joe Schmoe and Joe Schmo and "Yo Hschmo"), meaning 'Joe Anybody', or no one in particular, is one of the most commonly used fictional names in American English. Adding a "Shm" to the beginning of a word is meant to diminish, negate, or dismiss an argument (for instance, "Rain, shmain, we've got a game to play"). This process was adapted in English from the use of the "schm" prefix in Yiddish to dismiss something; as in, "Fancy, schmancy." While "schmo" ("schmoo," "schmoe") was thought by some linguists to be a clipping of Yiddish "schmuck", an etymology supported by the Oxford English Dictionary, that derivation is not universally accepted.What are the other commonly used fictional names in American English? Wikipedia lists and has separate articles for Joe Bloggs, John Doe, John Q. Public, and Average Joe. What about Joe Blow? He's mentioned in the entry for John Q. Public:
Similar terms include John Q. Citizen and John Q. Taxpayer, or Jane Q. Public, Jane Q. Citizen, and Jane Q. Taxpayer for a woman. The name John Doe is used in a similar manner. The term Tom, Dick and Harry is often used to denote multiple hypothetical persons.The last of which? Like Joe Blow and Joe Six-pack are swanky fellows.
Roughly equivalent are the names Joe Blow, Joe Six-pack, the nowadays less popular Joe Doakes and Joe Shmoe, the last of which implies a lower-class citizen....
And here's "Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq.," by Edgar Allan Poe. Excerpt:
"My dear Thingum," replied father, (I had been christened Thingum after a wealthy relative so surnamed,) "My dear Thingum," he said, raising me from my knees by the ears- "Thingum, my boy, you're a trump, and take after your father in having a soul. You have an immense head, too, and it must hold a great many brains. This I have long seen, and therefore had thoughts of making you a lawyer. The business, however, has grown ungenteel and that of a politician don't pay. Upon the whole you judge wisely;- the trade of editor is best:- and if you can be a poet at the same time,- as most of the editors are, by the by, why, you will kill two birds with the one stone. To encourage you in the beginning of things, I will allow you a garret, pen, ink, and paper, a rhyming dictionary; and a copy of the 'Gad-Fly.' I suppose you would scarcely demand any more."Thingum, my boy, you're a trump...
Trump! Got to get back to my regular blogging. Or do I? We could go down the rathole forever.... into the dark, devilish, spidery doom of the internet.