Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scattered thoughts on names

Somewhere in London there is a Miss Myers wait for Marks and Spencer to tell her that she can pick her dress at their Fenchurch Street store. She's not going to get that email because my wife has it.

While there has been publicity about IPv4 addresses running out, running out of email addresses hasn't had the same publicity. One reason is that you can simply add numbers on the end of an email address. It is possible that the Miss Myers is actually Miss Myer5.

Personally I don't want an email address ending in a number. I am not a number. It took a while for me to find a gmail combination that hadn't already been taken, but I found one. Even if you can't there are enough email providers out there that you don't need that.  And as I mentioned previously, it is cheap enough to get your own host name with up to 50 email addresses (though garymyers.com and garymyers.com.au were already taken).

That's fine for personal email where you have a choice. At one place I worked, I did need a number as my 'name' address already belonged to someone else, and I don't have a middle name to act as a tie-breaker.

As a parent, you have to consider all this when naming your child. About 15 years ago I worked with a Mr Goodger. His parents had given him the name Martin, and at the place we worked he got assigned the username of Goodgerm (which I support is better then Badgerm). Try to pick a more unusual given name so that your child has a better chance of controlling their personal brand.

As a final though, I'm working on an interface to an external system which requires both a Given and Surname. Given some cultures only have a single name, I expect this to cause problems at some time.

2 comments:

Joel Garry said...

How funny, I rate gmail accounts as lowly because of the amount of spam they generate on oracle usenet groups.

There are bizarro namespace collisions - I often post on blogs as the blogname at my domain, and had some strange things happen as some software decided I must be the owner!

One of my netadmins at work wound up with carlost.

The fact my wife uses a different last name professionally than personally leads to endless entertainment.

I've gotten email for other people because my ISP was too smart to not do partial matches. ie, I'm xyz@cox.net, someone else is xyz-abc@cox.net, they give up xyz-abc, I get their mail. D'Oh! I'm wondering if your wife has the same issue, since what are the chances ISP's use the same stupid mail processing scripts.

Double kudos for Prisoner reference!

word: detram
word: pultr

Gary Myers said...

Delayed response, sorry.

I've heard a lot of spam comes from GMail...but they do a good job of keeping the spam out of my inbox so I've never noticed it myself. I haven't hung around usenet for years either.

The other peculiarity of gmail is that you can add in full stops but they get ignored, so "some.one" would go to the same email box as "someone" or even "so.me.one".