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Is there any way I can use the 'Display name' or some other user profile property in the view of a discussion list?

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If I understand your requirement correctly, you want to see a column with the user's name. In that case, it should already show what you want with the "Created By" column, which is already on the default view of a Discussion Board.

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Thanks- unfortunately, that's what I'm trying to avoid. I would like the users to be able to choose a name that would be used exclusively for the discussion board. For some it might be their actual name, but for the more privacy-conscious, it could be 'cowboy72' or a more vague handle of their choosing. –  skeej Jan 29 '13 at 14:27

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