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your online self

by the stormy present Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 04:55:15 AM EST

We haven't asked this in a while, so why not a little community-building on New Year's Eve?

Sometime over the last few days, afew and I had a minor exchange that involved his username and where it came from.  My question was sort of silly -- how do you pronounce it?  Although I guess online names rarely need to be pronounced out loud, for some reason it helps me to know things like that, and I'm sort of surprised I'd never asked before.

So anyway, my question is... where'd your username come from?  Some people here use their real names as their usernames, and Question Two (below the fold) might be more applicable to them.  But some of us use aliases.  So where'd they come from?  How and why did you choose it?

I'll start.  My username comes from Abraham Lincoln's 1862 State of the Union message to Congress, delivered the year after the start of the American Civil War.  (It's a very long message, and this part is right at the end.)

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

So -- how about you?


Hmmm, and here's a more abstract question:  How does the online version of you compare to the real-world version?  This isn't Second Life, I don't think most of us have completely reinvented ourselves as some new person here, but how much is the online "me" like the offline "me"?  Hmmm.

Display:
My answer to the second question is... uh, I dunno.  I think maybe online-me is a little smarter than offline-me.  She's also probably a bit funnier.  But otherwise, I think we're pretty much the same.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 04:57:37 AM EST
My username comes from my looks ; sometimes people think, or thought 10 years ago when I first came on the internet and took the nick for IRC (Feeling older again. Not helped by my birthday being tomorrow), that I look south american or american indian. Thus Inca, or l'Inca which became linca. I think of it in French (and thus unpronounceable in nasal-vowel-less English).

One of the advantages of a forum such as ET is that its format slows down discussion, and thus prevent me from arguing too much, too fast...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 05:22:04 AM EST
Hey!  I know in some places it's considered bad form (or bad luck?) to wish someone a happy birthday early, but I'm afraid I might be too hung over tomorrow to remember, so I'll say it now:  Happy Birthday!

My mom thought my younger sister would be a New Year's Day baby, but she missed it by a few days....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 06:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bon anniversaire!
by lychee on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 06:39:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bonne Annéeversaire !

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:10:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy Birthday Linca!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:18:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny -- I always thought "linca" must be some French child-pet-name version of the Chinese surname Lin.

Bon anniversaire!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 08:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Einen guten Rutsch in, no wait...

Have a good slide into the New Year, no wait... into your best birthday!

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:58:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks to the stormy present, lychee, Melanchthon, LEP, DoDo and Crazy Horse !

Passez un bon réveillon !

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:34:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:11:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And thanks to you too, Fran !

Bonne Année !

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:13:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy Birthday!!!

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:42:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy Birthday!
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 10:40:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy birthday! I hope it is a good one for you.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 10:45:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Three thank to ceebs, nanne and In Wales !

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:09:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, happy birthday!  (Another ETer born within a month of winter solstice!)

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:13:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And another thanks to you, too !

I wonder about the birth date statistics of ET (which have a non-astrological influence on development ; it is well known athletics caters more to those born early in the year, as they statistically have an advantage in the calendar age defined youth competition), and how they correlate with national birthdate statistics (which vary from one country to the next, and indeed within countries ; French female teachers tend to have there children at such a date that their maternity leave ends as the summer vacations begin...)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:20:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd suggest

1) We're just more vocal about our birthdays because we're used to people being in the party mood--I said elsewhere that I can't go out for a birthday drink without finding all venues filled with tinsel etc...

That could be proved/disproved by a poll: "Which month were you born in?"

2)  For different characteristics due to "time of year", yeah I think that's interesting.  There are a lot of different factors (I think first of "When you took your first steps, was it warm and sunny, cold and snowy, blowy and wet?", all the seasonal variations--but yeah, how about the school year in England runs Sept-Aug, so Sept = older kid, Aug = younger kid for any school peer group; whereas the italian year runs (or ran) Jan-Dec, so in Italy (hey, we're both two hundred and thirty nine, right?) you'd be the oldest in your class and I'd be the youngest in the class above you, whereas in England we'd be close (almost the same birthday!) in the same grade.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:33:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(since I actually started school with the people born before rather than after me, and then skipped a grade, I never was  actually the oldest in my class, halas. I was the too young kids the girls laughed at.)

It's clear being older or younger can have a huge effect ; at the time of learning  how to read, some kids have lived 20 % longer, probably spoken 40 % longer ; and the effect of being labelled, very early, a "smart child" or "a failure" can have huge effects in the way-too-normalised system of early education... Especially since teachers talk among them, and entering the next grade kids already ave a reputation...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:46:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The story of my user's name goes back many years ago, when I was reading Giacomo Casanova's "Histoire de ma vie". There is one chapter where he mentions people having a ridiculous name and he takes the example of Philipp Schwartzerd (Schwartzerd means "Black earth"in German). Casanova then says that Philipp Schwartzerd was right to hellenize his name (in ancient Greek, "Black earth" translates into "Melanchthon"). As my name means "Black earth" in French, it amused me and, when I had to chose a username on DKos, I chosed Melanchthon...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 05:32:08 AM EST
Well, the origin of this is pretty simple: it seemed like a pretty frequent format on DailyKos (matt in nyc, Bill in Portland Maine, etc) so I just used it like this with my name and city.

As to internet personalities, my experience from meetups and YearlyKos is that poster's real personalities cannot be hidden from the forum - I was struck time and again by the profound identity between people's posts and their real life personalities. The real surprise was the physical world - looks, age, gender have all been unexpected for various persons.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 05:32:55 AM EST
The real surprise was the physical world - looks, age, gender have all been unexpected for various persons.

I have found that to be universally true.  My work often involves telephone and/or email conversations with counterparts at other utilities whom I've never met in person.   And one of my long time hobbies is amateur radio, which again involves long distance communication with relative strangers.  In both cases, the occasional real time meetup invariably involves recalibrating a mental image that is different, sometimes wildly so, from the reality.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 09:39:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't use my first name, but Middletown is actually my home town, Muncie, Indiana, United States.

During the 1920s my hometown was part of the classic sociological work, the Middletown Studies.

Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture was primarily a look at changes in a small Midwest city between 1890 and 1925, the year the study was completed.

Although the book does not name the city (population: 38,000) in question, it was later revealed to be Muncie, Indiana.

The Lynds and their assistants used the "approach of the cultural anthropologist" (see field research and social anthropology), existing documents, statistics, interviews, and surveys to accomplish this task. The stated goal of the study was describe this small urban center as a unit which consists of "interwoven trends of behavior" (p. 3). Or put in more detail,

    "to present a dynamic, functional study of the contemporary life of this specific American community in the light of trends of changing behaviour observable in it during the last thirty-five years" (p. 6).

The book is written in an entirely descriptive tone, treating the citizens of Middletown in much the same way as an anthropologist from an industrialized nation might describe a non-industrial culture.

Muncie continues to be one of the places that pollsters and reporters go when they want to do an "average American city" story.  As far as how my online self and offline self caompare, my offline self is far less vocal.  It's sort of like my inner Hulk comes out.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:43:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two sources for my username: One, lychees are one of my favorite fruits, and two, when creating my username I had just looked at a website for a Cantonese hardcore/metal band from Hong Kong, King Lychee. I thought maybe Queen Lychee at first but didn't really feel like pointing out my gender. Plus it would have made me look like a fan of the band, and I'm just not into their music, though I wish them the best of luck.

Personality differences? Who knows.

by lychee on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 06:13:34 AM EST
My screen name is very boring; my initials. I came to the internet in the late nineties to trade stocks during the technology boom. At that time I used my real first and last names on the yahoo stock message boards. My son kept saying take a screen name but I never followed his advice. When I first started commenting on the political boards, (bilmon and kos) I took my initials. Of course, now anyone can see my real name by clicking on one of my photos and going to my picassa web album.
I think I'm freer on the internet than I am in person. Relationships are less risky on the internet and you can step away for a few minutes if you need some reflection. But I now know so many people on ET that I can't say there's a difference; life is very interesting in these times.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:00:37 AM EST
My screen name is my first name: what else would I call myself?

My meat-world avatar doesn't have the charm even temper of my on-line one.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:03:57 AM EST
Same for me. As for my sig line, it was used on a email reflector (DVB? ITU?) by an American expat living in Geneva.
by Bernard on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:41:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Came up with mine by stashing "Nordic" (me being from a Nordic country) and "Storm" (the first half of my last name) together.
As for offline and online - I have as much of an affinity for making silly jokes and one-liners in both "realms", much to the chagrin of...well, everyone.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:10:58 AM EST
My username comes from my initials, and dates back to a time when there were a group of us with the same first name in a house, so we all ended up with nicknames to differentiate. When I moved to Wales, I reverted to my original name for about three weeks, before someone else with my first name moved into my house, at the same time as a load of mates of mine turned up. so nearly twenty years later, everyone knows me by my username in and out of the world.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:20:13 AM EST
Am I the only one here who's more curious about your email address? :)
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:14:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah I was just wondering if it would be allowed by google, plus people don't forget it when I tell them it.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:27:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think mine is fairly obvious.  I initially set up an account using my initials and realised that didn't serve the purpose very well if I wanted to get more involved so I set up an account as In Wales.  

I suppose I see my perspective on European and political issues being largely shaped by my experience of living in Wales so it was the key aspect of my identity that tells people who I am in this context.

I think online I am on a far more equal footing than offline.  This method of communication is the easiest for me and people judge you by what you write (and how you write perhaps).  Online, my contribution is as valid and worthwhile as the next person, which is far from the case irl.  I'm the same person online but with fewer obstacles in my way.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:28:16 AM EST
Actually, I often find people's signatures more intriguing than the usernames they choose.

Mine came from my favourite book, To Kill A Mockingbird and has been my motto ever since I read it.  The book itself translates it as 'from mud to the stars' although I understand that more literally the latin means through adversity to the stars, or similar.

I think it became my motto at the time because I needed something to believe in (seeing as religion/faith or lack thereof is a hot topic at the moment!)  

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 08:41:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't it aspera rather than aspira?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 09:35:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now if you'd waited for a few hours you could have made the first PN of 2008 ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:42:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Since I made that comment at 13:35 London time, it was already 2008 in the areas whose time zone is 11h ahead.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:51:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compounded PNing! Excellent!

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:00:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
argh! I think you may be right. How annoying and silly of me. I can't be bothered with changing it though.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:50:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is easy - in User prefs go to <diplay options> make <signature type> retroactive. <save it>, then go to your user info and change your signature. It's only one letter to edit and it's forever and past ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
* cough * what's in the past?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because it changes all previous instances of your signature and thus no-one will ever know about your misspelling, and I promise you will shall not bring it up again ;-) Well, not often, anyroad...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:43:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I checked it though!  Hmph. Just glad I didn't have it tattooed on me.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:46:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excuse me for breaking in like this, but your comment made it imperative for me to share this little (true) story.  A park ranger, or whatever you call them in Wales, told us about the tattoo in Latin on his forearm.  He and some buddies had gotten drunk and then tattoed at a parlor in Thailand on their last night before leaving a tour of duty in Korea.  His tattoo was "Forever in Wales" inscribed in Latin.  About halfway through the process, the tattoo artist was suddenly moved to make small talk, asking "where did you come from?" to which the drunken soldier replied "Korea" which is now forever on his forearm as "Forever in Korea" in Latin.

Karen in Austin

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:38:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh dear.  That would annoy me so much.  My tattoos are very carefully chosen. If any were slightly off what and where I wanted them, I don't know how I'd cope!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would love to see your tattoos. Do they glow in the dark?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:23:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmmm, no they don't glow in the dark. Should they?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:28:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They're already made. So, they should not!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:42:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
he's just trying to entice you into his darkroom once again isn't he ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:44:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the naughty man.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:58:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
J'adore quand les anglaises m'appelles "naughty man."

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 10:02:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lol
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 10:11:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't want to disclose that ceebs. But it's obvious that I'll now have to use the braille method instead of sight reading.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:59:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now there's some wishfull thinking ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:04:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well quite. My tattoos are neither glow in the dark or braille.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:14:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he'll only accept experimental evidence. you'll understand being a scientist. ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:22:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll write a paper on it and he'll just have to accept that. If he wishes to experiment then I suggest he repeat the methodology in my paper and judge for himself whether his tattoos glow in the dark or work as braille.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:32:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because of the time pressures caused by my advanced age, we'll have to ask the regulatory authorities to allow allow for "fast track" utilization before your results are confirmed by another team's laboratory experiments.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:52:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My results don't need to be confirmed by another team's experiments. I simply write up my own experiment and findings and include the methodology so that should anyone else wish to verify the accuracy of my conclusion then they can repeat the experiment for themselves.

Neither tattoo took more than half an hour so time won't be awasting too long, LEP.  There must be tattoo parlours near that deviant digital darkroom of yours.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 12:06:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll borrow a tattoo gun for the next meetup ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:52:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ceebs. Thankfully, you have become my "intervenant" in this damned eternal quest to lure In Wales into my digital photo darkroom.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:36:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do so hope you have a Benny Hill accent when we finally meet, ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:41:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How about Woody Allen?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:44:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it's second best but I'll cope.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 11:50:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And was it really supposed to be Forever in Wales?!
I had no idea I was so adored far and wide ;-)
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:45:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LoL

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:13:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe whether the signature can be changed is set at the time the comment is posted, but I might be wrong.

I have changed my signature several times and I'm now about to write the history of changes by experimenting with setting it to "retroactive" again, but someone who hasn't changed their signature before could do the experiment.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:48:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah it was retroactive, look through my earlier posts on this thread, it has changed all of them.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:51:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Miracle of Modern Science! Nothing mystical about it...

OK I've had a Bloody Mary, we've eaten the scallops and now I have to prepare my special rice to go with the lamb.

See you guys and gals in 2008 o/

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:37:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are right, but it's usually per aspera ad astra which means, by hardship to the star. Success is gained through difficulty.

If you don't mind my saying so it's a very appropriate signature. In bocca al lupo for your thesis!

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:38:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:45:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently it's the motto of the state of Kansas.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:03:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And in a slightly different take, the RAF - per ardua ad astra.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My nick is my first name in lowercase. Since I adopted my old usenet nick as the name for my personal blog, I've been blogging using this name. It's not a common name even in the Netherlands, and some people online end up thinking that I'm a woman because it's similar to Anne (a name both men and women can have in Dutch, by the way).

Personality-wise, I think I'm mostly similar?

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:32:25 AM EST
Misguessing gender from ambiguous usernames is all too common, made more so by different naming conventions in different cultures and languages.  I would have bet nanne was a woman's nick.  Now I'll have to recalibrate.  ;}  And I thought for a long time that kcurie was a woman.  Funny how deeply embedded our gender identification is with our conception of ourselves and others.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 09:46:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You were not the only one mystified by Kcurie's gender; the same applied to me. To kcurie's delight, I'm sure.
by Nomad on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:11:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of people assume I'm male when I use the shortened version of my name (Sam) and I have received a lot of post for 'Mr Sam ...' over the years.  Very few assume Sam is a female name when they are guessing.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
by Sam on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:34:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've learnt not to make assumptions about names like Sam. Kim is another. Ceri is a very common Welsh name for both genders.  It is hard to avoid making assumptions about gender based on the way people write.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:42:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why the need for gender identification?

Gender mis-identification often happened with my previous username, "Daneel", and I haven't always bothered to correct. (I was more amazed that the name of Isaac Asimov's main robot character R. Daneel Olivaw, asexual but often viewwed as male [I'm not sure what was used of "he/she/it", if at all, in the English original], has a female ring to those unfamiliar with it.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:17:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you remember Asimov's The Robots of Dawn, R. Daneel Olivaw, like his "twin" Jander, is not asexual at all...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:33:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, in the then appearance. But I remember an Asimov interview in which he wonders about the affection of his female readers for Daneel, saying h... eh, it is asexual.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...though maybe the interview I read was made not long after the publication of The Naked Sun.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:01:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Why the need for gender identification?"

Because if you are interacting with other humans in any form deeper than a form letter selling auto insurance, that's the way people operate.  Lack of gender identification seems ... odd? ... strange?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:47:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not really an answer at the "why", more a claim that "yes there is such a need". But I wonder. Normal human interaction also involves eye contact, gestures, a lot of things we do without on-line. I don't see why gender identification is different.

Maybe it's language. You can't say "he/she" in an asexual way in English. In Hungarian, it's just the opposite.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:05:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Finnish too. Thus Finno-Ugric ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:07:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fenugreek?

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:42:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Normal human interaction also involves eye contact, gestures, a lot of things we do without on-line.

Or an even weightier analogy: knowing another's age.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:12:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gender assignment is automatic when you picture someone in your mind, I would guess. I tend to attach a mental picture almost immediately when reading posts, and that means a gender gets assigned, too.

Why we choose the genders we do when creating that mental picture, I don't know. Sometimes it's based on the obvious (the genders of Jerome and Fran, for instance) or an obvious association (Nanne, I thought you were female for the exact reason you listed until I saw meetup photos; kcurie's name reminded me of Marie Curie until I saw numerous posts referring to "him"). Sometimes it's not so clear-cut-- I don't know why, but for some reason I thought In Wales was male for the first couple of weeks I was here.

by lychee on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 03:21:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You aren't the only one to think I'm male at first! I'm not too sure why either.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 03:34:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know how odd out I am, but I don't necessarily do that (same with age). And just you are an example: that you wrote having considered "Queen Lychee" downthread is the first instance that made me think of you either way. That said, I do recall it happened I mis-guessed some ET users' gender (unfortunately I don't remember any anymore, but maybe just Fran was one of them: Fran-Frank). No wait, I remember I thought someone is a thirty-something male healthcare worker (probably wrong on all accounts).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 03:53:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Men and women have different communication paradigms and styles.  This affects 'decoding' of the communication as most people tend to assume the Other is using their own gender communication strategies when visual clues are absent and the user name is ambiguous.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:13:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the nice part of having a false gender identification, maybe. But I don't see these different communication styles/paradigms in action so much here (any more than, say, cultural or generational differences).
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 10:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh, what this reminds me of is the effect of anonymising entry tests at a London university: the ratio of females among the successful suddenly passed 50%... maybe there is more than communication strategies at play.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You badly need to insert "tend to" into your first statement, because otherwise it's just plain false.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:58:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is this another case of variance within populations being greater than variance between populations?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one of the casualties of the WesternTM way of categorizing...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:22:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please elaborate.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I may be wrong but much of the way I learned to categorise was with a tree structure, best represented by the tree of life. A man is a male member of the human species of the primate genre of the mammal branch etc... Each of these distinctions being fairly exclusive.

i.e. when dividing within a group we tend to search for the overarching difference between the different parts, with an essentialist approach ; we create "muslim" and "jew" categories, despite the fact that many muslims and many jews used to share the same culture. Black and White categories - where does the north of Africa fit ? Fruit and produce - and endless debate about the status of the tomato.

Categories and nuance don't fit well together. It seems to go back to the Platonician ideal - instances are supposed to be a representation of a theoretical  and perfect idea, which represents the truth. Thus, as we build representations, we are unable to detach the instance from its ideal, and admit that different categories often overlap.


Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:56:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, that ties in very well with some work I've done on statistical classification and clustering and the problems with the whole theory and practice of it. Specifically with dendrograms.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 06:22:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Please elaborate. That sounds interesting.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 07:51:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the tree of life actually has an underlying theory that explains why it would be that way (evolution involves speciation, that is branching only and not convergence) and a transversal cut across the tree represents a particular point in time.

With Ring Species, however, one has to be extra careful. But that is only a difficulty associated with a particular branching point.

Now consider a general classification problem. I give you a population and you have to figure out how many subpopulations there are in it and which subpopulation each individual belongs to. There are parametric models which have problems of their own, but a nonparametric way to do it is to calculate a distance function and then construct a tree out of it. There are bottom-up and top-down algorithms. You described a top-down algorithm. The main problem is that, unlike the case of the tree of life where the tree being represented actually follows evolutionary time in one direction, if you have a group breaking up into four subgroups because of two dichotomies, the order of breaking will make the tree look different and it may obscure the common characteristics between subbranches of different branches.

That is, the tree is the wrong kind of topology in some cases.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 08:17:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem being that the tree is the dominant implicit classification paradigm in the societies I know (witness the 'US is a republic, not a democracy !' as another example). That leads to trouble. (And I think I remember reading about ethnologies of societies with had very different classification paradigms, which meant they had no concept of "tree" for example...)

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 08:59:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The key issue is do you have a partition (exclusive, exhaustive classes) or don't you?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 11:39:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it sure seems French has some problem with non-exclusive or ; ou is often an implicit XOR. I think the same holds in English.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:26:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is the case

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:47:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coleman:

You badly need to insert "tend to" into your first statement, because otherwise it's just plain false.

All Categorical Statements are False.  8^)

Ok, I'll accept that.

The tendency is strong, however, and when broken tends to be a female adopting the male conversational mode than the other way 'round.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 12:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think gender becomes a fundamental part of our self identification and hence our relationship to others.  It is something we learn "at our mother's knee," long before we have any rational conception of what it means.  I'm not sure there is any way around it.  For good or ill, it colors everything else about us.

I remember Daneel.  I had a clear conception of "him" as a male.  I don't know if Asimov intended that, but I never doubted it.  On the other hand, I can imagine someone who hasn't read Asimov thinking otherwise.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:25:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Mind influences the body and the body influences the Mind.  

Certainly some gender roles are learned but there are physiological differences as well from maintaining of body homeostasis to higher cognitive functioning that also predicate gender roles.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:34:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My user name is the Romaji transliteration of the Katakana transcription of my Spanish name, which apparently is not an uncommon name in Japan.

No, I am not the (also Spanish) guy behind http://www.MiGeRu.com

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:42:24 AM EST
...our Japanese department is having a field day with your handle.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:41:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was once in Firenze for a month studying italian and one of my classmates we a Japanese who had been living in Italy for two years and spoke with a Tuscan accent. He said he had a nephew called Migeru back in Japan, whose parents were a Spanish/Japanese mixed couple.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd assumed that Migeru was your real name and that it was Spanish.  This was before I knew you were actually from Spain but weren't called Migeru.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:59:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mi ge-i ru is about as close as you can get to "Miguel". "r" and "l" are indistinguishable in Japanese which leads to a lot of misspellings and mispronunciation by Japanese.

According to my Japanese friends "Migeru" is not at all common in Japanese. In fact it's the kanji transcription of "Miguel".

The fun part is what kanji are used to transcribe the syllables of the name. You can come up with hilarious phrases. The Chinese under Mao regularly used deprecatory kanjis to transcribe evil capitalist world leaders' names. Unfortunately I don't remember any off hand. A vague memory of a US Sec of State coming off as "ugly evil man with long nose".

So, kanji-wise, Mi gei ru can come off hilarious or slightly poetic.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a number of manga/anime characters whose name is from an European language, but in English editions (or already on English inscriptions in the manga/anime) was translated back with an r instead of l or vice versa. Say, the Trigun manga's Razlo (should be Lazlo), Full Metal Panic!'s Teletha "Tessa" Testarossa (should be Teresa).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Come on, give me a list of Kanji meanings of my name!

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:30:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll start with the nicest one:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

From top to bottom: Beauty Art Current (as in stream). Current(s) of beautiful art (correnti di belle arti may sound better but implies art movements whereas we're dealing with waterstream currents).

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Judging from pictures of you, this one currently doesn't apply:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

From top to bottom: Three hairs remain. Which ever way you juggle it, it's a countdown to baldness.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:56:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It reminds me of this Spanish children's song.

La bruja tiene tres pelos / Tres pelos tiene la bruja / Si no tuviera tres pelos / Ya no sería la bruja

It is a countdown song in that it's supposed to be repeated dropping one word at a time, until none of the song remains.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:58:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the worst we've come up with. I'll use classic kanjis for a change:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

From top to bottom: Taste (or smell) Whale Remains. It could suggest that you make a living cutting up whale at the Tsukiji Fish Market before dawn. (And don't wash after.)

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 03:10:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is an excellent resource for information about kanji and Japanese words:

http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html

You can get a list of characters searched by romaji here:

http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1B

Using that second page, you can search on mi, ge (or gei, if you like) and ru to come up with various combinations.

However, once you just choose a combination, if possible, get someone with native Japanese or Chinese language ability (that would not be me) to check the passability of your desired kanji combination.  Sometimes people (including myself) come up with really ridiculous-sounding/meaning character combinations (see http://www.hanzismatter.com/ and http://www.engrish.com/ to see what it looks like with the shoe on the other foot).  Actually, what passes in Chinese may not pass in Japanese, and vice-versa (although, three characters in Japanese are quite rare anyway.)  And remember, as your name will not sound the same in Chinese as in Japanese, you would only ask a Chinese for a sanity check based on the combination and order of the character meanings.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 08:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was surprised to learn that the Japanese and Chinese can understand each other through kanjis. And that Japanese is now the custodian of kanjis after the simplification imposed by the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:43:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was surprised to learn that the Japanese and Chinese can understand each other through kanjis.

Yes, it's quite common for Japanese tourists in China and Chinese tourists in Japan to communicate in this way.

(By the way, note that 漢字 is transcribed as kanji and hànzi [pronounced HAN-zuh] in Mandarin.)

And that Japanese is now the custodian of kanjis after the simplification imposed by the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Well, Chinese in Taiwan still uses "traditional" -- i.e. pre-simplication -- characters, which can be more complicated than the Japanese versions.

For example, the character for "to read" is:

讀 in traditional characters (used in Taiwan)
読 in Japanese
读 in simplified characters (used in mainland China)

Sometimes the traditional and Japanese are the same.  For example, the character for "Chinese; Han dynasty" (the kan in kanji and the hàn in hanzi) is:

漢 in traditional or Japanese
汉 in simplified

And sometimes the Japanese and the simplified are the same, but the traditional remains more complex.  For example, the character for "country" is:

國 in traditional
国 in Japanese or simplified

Having studied Japanese before Chinese (using simplified characters), I initially found the simplified version of the characters an appalling abuse upon the language.  But becoming more familiar with them, I realize more and more just how well the simplification was conceived from a pedagogical point of view (facilitating learning based on superficial commonalities or similarities in character components and pronunciations) and appreciate how this must have helped significantly in accelerating the literatization of the gigantic Chinese population.  For all of Mao's abominations, this is one thing I think he can be praised for (another being the bringing up of women's status in Chinese society).

Still, it is a pity that the richness and complexity of traditional Chinese characters had to be sacrificed for the pressing, practical concerns of rapidly educating the population.  I dream that some day China may revert back to traditional characters, both officially and in practice, maybe as part of a campaign to restore different aspects of traditional Chinese culture in general.  This may not be as crazy as it sounds on the face of it, as most Chinese can read traditional characters easily enough anyway, and often are used to doing so from watching TV shows, movies, and karaoke videos with subtitles added in Taiwan.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 06:45:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have read that those foreigners who learn simplified chinese have an easier time picking up traditional chinese than the other way around.

Ideograms are a great obstacle to acquiring literacy and Supposedly simplified chinese makes it easier. This is not a trivial matter. According to adition Korea's script was designed by an old ruler also for the purpose of aiding literacy.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 07:02:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have read that those foreigners who learn simplified chinese have an easier time picking up traditional chinese than the other way around.

I really hope so!  In fact, I was struggling back in September with how to advise a friend of mine who was just starting to learn Mandarin in Taiwan, where he had the option of studying in traditional vs. simplified characters.  I really did not know what to tell him, because after two months of study, it was already clear to me that learning simplified was significantly easier than traditional.  However, it was also quite clear that by learning simplified, you lose an enormous amount of information about the etymology among and thus "deep" relationships between characters.

Come to think of it, I never found out which one he decided to study.  As for my myself, had I been given the choice, I would have started studying traditional, but being on the mainland, I had no such choice.  But in a way, I am sort of grateful now that I am studying simplified, as it is already such an immense task to learn the other aspects of Chinese (grammar, listening comprehension, vocabulary, etc.)  It would be great if what you read about learning simplified vs. traditional first turns out to be correct!

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.

by marco on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 01:45:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A half-Japanese woman told me that my name, David, would come out in Japanese as "Debido". IIRC her own name, Melissa, would be "Merisisa".
by Gag Halfrunt on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:23:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read that as "half-naked Japanese woman" the first time 'round.

It may be time for a cup of cocoa and off to bed for me.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:34:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My nick was originally a nom de plume as producer for an experimental single in the 80s that I made with a very well-known band in Finland who also wanted to hide behind the name ArtPop Kombo. I have used several aliases in the music business - Roland Butter was another favourite. And I'm known to the general public by another alias, rather than my real name. It is the Reg Dwight syndrome.

Then in the early 90s I used the Triloqvist nick again as a main character in the Bonk Business Inc. saga - as Senior Vice President of the ADS (Advanced Disinformation Systems) division of BBI. Gradually the character became my alter ego and much of what I wrote as his words were really an excuse to write concepts for which I had no other outlet. I then began to appear in seminars and conferences under that name (and still do). It allowed me to say things that my more sober clients might feel were dangerously subversive ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:48:49 AM EST
I love your nick.  I get a little mental smile every time I see it.  Wish I had thought of something half as clever.

We all bleed the same color.
by budr on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 09:48:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well thank you. As you've probably guessed I like puns, and a lot of the work I do involves brainstorming with others, so the ability comes in handy sometimes. But to some extent it is a mental aberration ;-)

Though I prefer the 4th definition of aberration in Webster's: "a small periodic change of apparent position in celestial bodies due to the combined effect of the motion of light and the motion of the observer."

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's create the European Aberration Front...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:45:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought we did already last time you were here ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:47:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I must ponder deeper, though. It took me like one year to notice that Sven Triloqvist is "hiding" the word ventriloquist (which I was not too familiar with). But does the S stand for something, too? Or is it these just to complete the Scandinavian-name-sounding transformation?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:09:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The latter.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:13:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, my screen-name is obviouly a slightly shorter version of my dull name-name.  Offline Drew tends to be inadvertently very bad with people, stumbling through his sentences and getting himself into trouble with "If you (do or don't) x, the terrorists win" and "Why do you hate freedom?" jokes (which don't fly with the in-crowd in Washington).  Online Drew comes off slightly smarter than Offline Drew.

Beyond that, I'd say I'm roughly the same, but, as I spend such a huge chunk of my day on a computer, it's difficult to separate the two, especially since the offline version of me generally just wants to have a beer, watch Hardball and Countdown, and fall asleep.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:57:43 AM EST
I toyed with using "cojock" - my usual email, which happens to be an anagram of C J Cook ("J" is for "Jens" thanks to a Danish mother) - but opted for transparency instead....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 08:27:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not very clever play on the term innocent bystander.  None of us can claim innocence, anymore, of the things done in our name. I freely confess my ignorance, and I've been a bystander for far too long.

Entirely apt and maybe a little more candid than I really like.  Sometimes I wish I'd chosen something shorter and snappier.

The real me is a lot more closed and guarded than my online persona.  I've never really grown much past the college sophomore who cut classes to hang around the Student Union and pontificate about deep concepts he barely understood.  I find myself surrounded by sober grownups who don't know and don't care who Thomas Merton was or what solipsism means.  Consequently I keep my real thoughts mostly to myself.  I blend in by reverting to an earlier self who was an Okie and a hick.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 09:28:34 AM EST
I joined a blog, Daily Kos.  It was a beautiful day and I had my bag lunch underneath the statue of Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia; the founder of UVA.  I always thought it best to keep the same user name on different blogs since there is an overlap of members and for consistency in my on-line activities and opinions.

It seemed appropriate at the time but I have found that I've grown more left, actually.

I have also noticed that I have taken on different personalities, or rather voices in posts, depending on the subject and how my experience relates to it.  For instance here, in my worker diary, I spoke in the voice of a partner to a worker.  In my humanities diary, I have more of an academic voice from what I have learned in literary criticism.  I also have another voice when it concerns military topics as I have quite a few years in that profession as well.  Often that leads to an angry voice when the topic evolves into veteran's issues and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.  Lastly, I have my ignorant, naive and doe-eyed voice when I ask all of you simple questions about the EU and economics.

Heh, I guess that's me.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 09:56:55 AM EST
To be honest, I don't exactly remember how I came at my present username...

"DoDo" definitely comes from "DoD", the abbreviation for the US Department of Defense, which I found splashed all across news articles when the Iraq War started. But I don't remember what I originally meant with the added o -- DoD off, DoD zero, DoD should go the way of the dodo?...

I grew fond of it for added potential meanings.

There are obviously all the connotations to the dodo, the extinct flightless bird with the fatal lack of fear from predators. And then to one of my favourite childhood authors, self-made zoologist Gerald Durrell (who used the bird as symbol for his zoo, and wrote a fiction novel about the re-discovery of a thought-to-be-extinct dodo-like bird).

DoDo (or more correctly: Do'Do') would also denote the wheel arrangement of a locomotive with two bogies of four individually-driven axles each. There were very few such beasts, let me veer off-topic by showing two:

Russian Railways test loco EP200:

Well, with two-level bogies, maybe (Bo'Bo')'(Bo'Bo')' would be better. But no such uncertainty with the Union Pacific type DDA40X "Centennial" (series 6900):

How my on-line persona relates to my real self? Well, that's a thorny question. Some things I consider not for worldwide publicity, so there is difference I obviously won't write about.

I also agree with Jérôme above that one's personality will come across inadvertedly if posting in the same web forum for a sustained time -- one can't even keep up a troll long enough without the troll beginning to look like the real self.

I think the main difference between the meat and internet version I am willing to talk about comes from the latter having time to assemble sentences and text. I'm not sure what's the correct English word here -- maybe eruditeness?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:06:45 AM EST
Interesting origins! I had assumed that your username came from a family nickname in place of your first name. My nephew David was often called DaiDai when he was younger.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:16:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Given my first awareness of your writing was with your railway series, I always assumed DoDo was a wheel arrangment reference. Is it so sad that the words Baltic, atlantic and Pacific still make me think of steam engines first and salt water second ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:28:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NO!!!!

:-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:49:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My nom de guerre should be pronounced [Nyo-mayde] in real-life, followed by a curtsy.

I insist on it.

I can't seem to find my original post where I explained my pseudonym's origins, but in brief:

I refrain from using my real name, as it is so rare and hence more easily traceable.

Although already travel geek, I was writing up my MSc thesis in 2005 and was running around through the department like a headless chicken, logging in at several computers per day. When queried for a user name at ET I opted for something simple and because "Computer Nomad" sounded too nerdy, I dropped the "Computer" and voila. This was immediately spoiled when I discovered that this pseudonym of course had already been taken at the Big Orange where I will spent the rest of my non-participation with "European Nomad" which now strikes me as funny as I'm now living in South Africa...

Sadly it seems ever since I chose that pseudonym, my life has taken its very semblance. Though it's not always a bad thing.

I'm sure I'm even more clumsier in my conversations in real life than I'm online.

Also, my online me looks way more handsome.

by Nomad on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:07:33 AM EST
My current username came when I found on Comment is Free blog that my preferred nickname was used by someone else. After that I started to use FarEasterner everywhere, but in some sites it's already in use, and not by me.
by FarEasterner on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:10:54 AM EST
  1. Name is a nickname from my college days in upstate NY back in the early 70's; inherited it from my older brother who also went to the same school but I elevated TWANKING to a whole new level.

  2. I'm an asshole on the net, I'm an asshole in person.  Nice to know you can depend on SOMETHING in this unpredictable world.  Also think of myself as a cracker-jack problem solver.  Will have to demonstrate sometime.  Have an engineer's mentality; accurate info is good but solving a problem with it is even better.

Oh yeah, KEEP IT SHORT.  People don't have a ton of time to read a pile of crap, no matter how "literary" it is.  Prose should take a "scientific paper" format unless you are telling a story. (That ought to get a rise.)

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:22:59 AM EST
heh...I keep it as short in real life as I do online.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:13:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not sure I understand that one.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:48:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1.  It's too long and boring a story to explain my username, but I've had it since the Dean for America days and maintain it for consistency.

  2.  I don't think I'm much different IRL.  But for some reason people are much nicer to me IRL.  Either people are just nicer in general IRL, or I'm just less charming online... :)


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:15:58 AM EST
It's too long and boring a story to explain my username

Ah come on, don't leave us high and dry! It's just your username I am most curious about...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:25:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm just less charming online

Then you must be excessively charming offline...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:38:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, apparently I am a real charmer here...  Or the world's last remaining Stalinist.  Same diff, eh?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:54:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I've happened to know some extremely charming Stalinists...


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless:
the world's last remaining Stalinist
Check out http://www.stalinvive.com - I am not quite sure whether they're making fun of themselves or they are right wingers making fun of the left.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:00:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the latter. But they do a really good impersonation.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:34:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm relatively new to blogging - a persistent illness having given me some time on my hands and a lack of energy which was only not a handicap when at a computer.

In my innocence I started by using my real name, which often led to ad hominem attacks when the topic got contentious - e.g. Israel/Palestine - when the comments and threats could become blood curdling.  Having a family to consider I started using a pseudonym.

After a while I just said "oh hell" I've never apologised for my views in real life so why should I run scared on the net.  There have been mildly embarrassing moments when tongue-in-cheek or provocative comments have been published in the MSM with my name and address (without my permission) but there haven't been any serious repercussions.

I take the view that there is so much stuff on the net now why should anyone be bothered with my take on things.  I do wonder though whether I should risk traveling to the US.  Some uber-zealous security official might google my name and take some pro-Palestinian comments out of context.  The last guy who volunteered to interpret for an accused terrorist in custody got 5 years for aiding and abetting...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:18:20 AM EST
Obviously helen is just my first name irl. Although since I chose that name for myself just a few years ago, how that happened is probably a story in itself.

My email addy is a sort of cross between "queenie" and (motorbike) rider.

Plus, I really wanted to underline my gender status, especially as I'm aware I have a very male persona so I wanted no confusions. Such things matter to me more than they should.

Am I the sarcastic dystopian misanthrope I appear on this site ? Sadly yes, mostly I am...and worse. Some people have felt that rough edge on here too, but generally I need a lot more provocation here than I do in reality, mostly I keep that part of me back.

It's funny how several people have said they feel more considered and intelligent here. I wish. Compared to some people here I feel ignorant and stupid: Worse, a lot of the time they have the opportunity to prove it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:22:59 AM EST
Helen:
Compared to some people here I feel ignorant and stupid: Worse, a lot of the time they have the opportunity to prove it.

I don't know how you say that. I'm often astounded at the scope of your knowledge.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
most definitely agreed.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:46:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You should listen to her in person, where you can see the sparkplugs firing (should that be synapses firing?) behind the eyes.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:19:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeez Helen, what a negative self-image! For someone who keeps to the Fen Causeway  you shouldn't be mired but admired!  We'll all have to work on your self-esteem.  I think your comments have been very well conceived, considered and presented

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:34:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd always meant to ask you about your email address, I had a theory which now looks utterly wrong. ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
my username is my initials.  I think my real life persona is more or less like my online one--but how would I know?  I suppose I mean that I don't have a specific set of behaviours for online that I wouldn't practice off.

My experience of other people's real life personas compared to online is that the people I like online are even more enjoyable in person--with all the added physical interaction aspects.  I imagine a party with the people at ET I feel most in tune with--would ideally last three or four days, would involve walking and talking and drinking and music--a bit of everything and I would remember it forever: but when do we all have four days free at the same time and the money (people are on different continents!) and the ideal place--

So I meet them at ET instead!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:30:02 AM EST
Well, it's my name, from someone too lazy to write out a full, multi-syllabic name.

Indeed, I was startled (and pleased) that "bruce" was available as a username in several online forums - including, Monty Python notwithstanding, the Australian Railpage.

However, not in the Edwards site when I started blogging toward the end of my stay in Oz (possibly I was "bruce" in the previous incarnation of that site, but if so, I had forgotten the password to the freemail account that its "forgot your password" function was tied to, so ce'st la vie). So I added my final initials.

And kept the username because it was easier when I signed up for blogs after that.

Pronunciated "Bruce" "Mick" "Eff".


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:40:57 AM EST
Well, I go away for a few hours and look what happens!  Thanks to everyone for the stories!  I am really enjoying all of your comments.  I've just smiled and smiled and smiled while reading through them.  What a good way to end the year.

OK, I am going to engage in an uncharacteristic moment of sappiness, but trust me, it's very genuine:  Thanks, everyone, for being here at ET.  This place means a lot to me, and so do all of you.

Happy New Year!

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:09:16 PM EST
Many of us know of the spiritual Lakota warrior, but probably not his being.  The invasion (harmonization) of my psyche by this being began as a child always playing in the woods.  Still grows within me.  My role model as it were.  Plus it has something to do with fighting for freedom, against the despoilers of the US.

Many of my Lakota friends are righteously pissed that i use the name, since he's considered holy.  i understand, but believe that even indian spirit must grow, and besides, it was only his english name.  i should have taken a Mohawk name (Ayonwatha) but after childhood in the woods one mistakes realities sometimes.

Plus it's better than the name i used since my first online presence in 1985 at the WELL, where i was alpha 10.

my real personality seems similar to my online personality, though in person i'm never as drunk.  i can get animated in public however.

and i really like having found this clan.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:20:51 PM EST
My nick loosely means 'wanderer' in Latin. Though it has some autobiographic value, I chose it because I have a weak spot for Latin names à la Harry Potter. This one was inspired by a well-known poem by Hadrian that begins thus:


Animula, vagula, blandula
Hospes comesque corporis!


O fleeting soul of mine,
my body's friend and guest




You're clearly a dangerous pinko commie pragmatist.
by Vagulus on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:32:25 PM EST
My user name comes from the red star on my son's gravestone, and not my political views, contrary to popular belief...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:41:20 PM EST
But that begs the question of why there is a red star on your son's gravestone.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 12:58:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps so, but the story behind that isn't political, either.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It just hurts too much to read son and gravestone in the same sentence.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 08:37:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it does. Each time redstar mentions that I get tears in my eyes.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:29:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot imagine anything worse than losing one's son or daughter.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 02:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AT are two of the first letters in my RW name and "in NM" comes from the fact I live in New Mexico.

Boring, isn't it?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:32:04 PM EST
I add my story simply because I chose a screen name that has meaning for me but which comes across as about as dreary an identity as can be. Actually, the lack-luster was intentional, as I was curious to see how long I could go without revealing my sex, for one, and, for another, razzle-dazzle identities can be liablities.

My surname has a confused history / origin. Some sources have claimed that it was a Hungarian count 'Living' who left Magyar-land to settle in some god-forsaken village in Scotland, in the 12th-something century. Somehow, I've never found that very convincing. I suspect Hungarian counts of the time were smarter than that : )

Not long ago, I found a much more plausible story, beginning with 'Loefing', "son of Leaf", which eventually became 'Lyfing'. From there, 'tonn', or farm, was added, to identify the Lyfing's farm = Lyfingstonn. The spelling has changed, over time, but, all things said, I'm happier with the idea of being the offspring of farmers than of counts. So, Loefing I became.

As for online / offline persona aspect, working freelance I find myself with little spare time to create an online personality, limiting my contributions  to occasional [hopefully substantive] ideas or images.

Meanwhile, it's time to celebrate, again.

Very good new year to all. Happy celebrations!

by Loefing on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:32:05 PM EST
I always took your name to be an intentional misspelling of Loafing. as in this is just a thing that you do as a hobby, pottering about.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me too.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 01:49:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
; )
by Loefing on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:51:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm. There is an interesting Scotland-Hungary connection, however.

One of the Anglo-Saxon English king Edmund Ironside's sons, named Edward the Atheling (a descriptor inherited as surname by his son), was sent to a relative, the then Queen of the Kiev Rus, who sent him further to her in-law relative in Hungary, where Edward married. This Edward with family later returned to England, and after the Norman conquest, the family fled to Scotland, where daughter Margaret became King Malcom's wife, and later the patron saint of Scotland.

BTW considering the number of generations, almost certainly every farmer and nobleman from 1080 with descendants today was your ancestor.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:50:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had an low-lying suspicion that you might come up with a clever response ...

Well, no doubt Hungarian - Scottish intermarriage was real, but I do have doubts about the specific stories that have been woven about the Hungarian origins of my surname. It'd be lovely, but my guess is that "we" were probably just a lot of Scottish farmers. : )

Of course, as you indicate, geneology is a species of mythology, but I accept myth, in this case, to the extent that it enables me to embrace mythical farming, as opposed to mythical courtly, origins.

Only because I like the conclusion.      
 

by Loefing on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 03:48:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was a Kos thing. None of my usual nicks seemed to fit there.

It's slightly ironic, because although I was born here, my parents weren't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 02:25:24 PM EST
Well I use my initials which comes from a long time ago when logging on to early unix machines using a teletype. The fewer keystrokes the better.

Since then I've been a bit inconsistent, sometimes I continue to use my initials so as to make it easier for others to cite me in the thread, but more recently I've started to use my whole name which matches the name of my web site.

I've become a "brand".

I added the middle initial when I discovered another person with the same name as mine living a few doors down on the same street. He's since moved further away so I no longer get his mail (and vice versa).

I have a philosophical issue with screen names, especially on political sites. I think one should be willing to stand behind one's opinions openly. I'm willing to grant the need for some to remain anonymous when there are privacy issues, especially for whistle blowers.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 05:26:33 PM EST
All my words here represent me and not any organisation I work or have worked for.  Yet it could easily be misinterpreted (deliberately or otherwise) that when I talk about certain topics, I am representing the view of my employer or so on. I could lose my job if that happened.  I've experienced first hand the dishonesty of some journalists who have taken my opinion from a blog which I'd written under my name and quoted me in the paper completely out of context.  This was about 4 or 5 years ago.

I'm willing to back up my words but I'm not willing to make myself vulnerable to some nutter taking a dislike to me and harassing me for it. My name is not common and it is easy enough to find me. Stalkers are not fun.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 06:08:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a touchy issue. The problem is that it cedes too much authority over one's life to one's employer.

I can understand people in certain professions being required to suppress their own personal opinions. Two that come to mind are the staffs of legislators and judges, and military officers.

Having said that, I think being required (even implicitly) to hide one's identity because of fear of interference with one's employment shows a defect in current employment arrangements. Unfortunately I see no practical way to fix this.

Perhaps the limits on one's personal liberty would be a topic for a future discussion.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:13:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My employer wouldn't treat this too harshly (they are aware that I blog here) but we are a representative umbrella organisation and a political one at that. So if a member organisation chose to take issue with my opinion voiced on a blog, that puts my employer in an awkward position.  As I said before, I don't trust our local journalists and with good reason.

But that still doesn't solve the issue of my personal online safety should some troll or person with a grudge decide to harass me.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trust me on this one.  "They" "know" who you are.
Conviction and patriotism should overide this.  They are completely tied up with other "wars".
by Lasthorseman on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:56:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My username is Zaphod Beeblebrox's personal brain care specialist. I thought of him when I was registering on a forum and the name I wanted to use was taken.
by Gag Halfrunt on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:16:51 PM EST
Well Zaphod's just zis guy you know

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:21:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zat didn't take long. :)
by Gag Halfrunt on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:28:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the beginning of every phone call I have with a mate in Utrecht. and that line is always whoevers rung ups reply.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 07:35:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lasthorseman is the completion of my business school years plus the real late in life learning about all things equestrian.

The assignment in business ethics was to create a marketing scheme based upon the delivery of wireless television.  I was the engineer in my group and I suggested a breakthrough in technolgy that allowed a two-way cable TV delivery into the home via the current cell phone network.  I argued that the marketing value of having the information of who was watching what and when based upon relevant demographics via their credit card payments was profitable even though we would have to hide this capability aspect of our system.  Well my group members never fully grasped the concept.  They were American.  Trusting of their systems, their history as they were told and the current state of affairs as told by MSM media.  Well I did get an A and I also got another A on a paper on business ethics that stated "when I die Lord save some time as you are going to get an earful from me.

Since then,US and world situation exponentially accellerating towards the Satanic I asked the Lord if I might have the final horse ride before the Biblical Apopcalypse.  Well He actually said yes, even though I'm certainly not a religious fanatic and lean more towards the individual spirituality realm.  A Google search also showed the name to be realativly unused.

I attempt to use the name in pointing out the Satanic nature of contemporary society and politics.  I am as good at that as I am staying atop a greenbroke five year old gelding who still trips over his own feet.  He does like me and knows which of my jacket pockets to tag for his treats.  My aim is to inject the unconventional into the conventional and educate the unshaven masses.  

by Lasthorseman on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 10:53:07 PM EST
Mine came from a day when I was reading Dean For America blog and became so angry that I signed up just to post an angry comment. "asdf" was the easiest thing to type.
by asdf on Mon Dec 31st, 2007 at 11:25:54 PM EST
I use Wife of Bath because she was my first literary heroine, one who had the ring of truth and courage about her and a blue-bloodless background.  I happened to read the prologue and tale again about 21 years ago and have been writing an adapted screenplay for it since then, completing other projects in-between in order to try to build up to writing the one that means the most to me.  I just do it for fun, with no expectations of marketing.

But I sign off "Karen in Austin" because I don't want to seem to be claiming to be British; it was a tribute thing rather than an expression of who I am.  I have no idea if I'm the same online and off, but I do sound a little sweeter on the phone with strangers than I sound normally in person.  ??

I hope 2008 is kind to us all, and if it can't be kind then it at least should be interesting (duck and cover, y'all.)

Karen in Austin

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 04:56:47 AM EST
I am someone primarily to make trouble for those writing comments in which it is used in its generic meaning of an unspecified person. I also like that it makes me an 'unspecified person', except of course it does not as it is unique in the ET namespace.
by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:17:03 AM EST
And we know you are someone!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 05:38:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I got caught out the other day in our surrealist version of charades in which there are no categories. The 2 word phrase I got to mime was 'Two fingers' which, if you know how charades is played, is testing for the mummer.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 07:41:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really have a story. The first time I registered on a blog, Billmon's - I wanted to register with my first name and to my amazment it was already taken, by an American. So I registered with a short version of it, and kept it also on other threads.

I don't think I am any, or at least not much, different in real life.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 1st, 2008 at 09:10:04 AM EST


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