In this paragraph from The Trivium, the topic is ambiguity:
“Telephone books add addresses, empirical descriptions, to proper names in an effort to make them unambiguous in their reference. The identification cards of criminals are attempts to make a proper name unambiguous by supplementing it with an empirical description, a photograph, and fingerprints, which are regarded as unique in the truest sense of the word, because no two are exactly alike.”
Would anyone today assume identification cards were for criminals?
It reminds me of King David’s census, in chapter 21 of First Chronicles.