Usernames with @
June 9, 2006 11:36 PM   Subscribe

@mathowie: Why are people starting to put commercial at signs before usernames when they are directly addressing other MeFites? Is this a convention from Digg or something? Am I the only one who finds this annoying, even more annoying than putting other usernames in boldface? Even more annoying than Todd Lokkenning? Can we make it stop?
posted by grouse to Etiquette/Policy at 11:36 PM (99 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

@grouse: nope.
posted by mullingitover at 11:38 PM on June 9, 2006


@mullingitover: I assume that's an answer to the question "Am I the only one who finds this annoying."

—grouse
posted by grouse at 11:42 PM on June 9, 2006


I think it's really dumb, yeah. People don't talk "at" each other, they talk to each other. People yell at each other.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:49 PM on June 9, 2006 [2 favorites]


@mathowie: Oh, is that what this is supposed to be? "At mathowie?" God, that's even worse than I feared.
posted by grouse at 11:55 PM on June 9, 2006


Yeah, I agree, it's annoying. At least there are people who understand. Todd Lokken.
posted by blacklite at 11:56 PM on June 9, 2006


@grouse: Sadly, I was referring to the 'Can we make it stop?' question. Unless Matt wants to scrub the messages for @ symbols at the beginning of a post.

-mullingitover
posted by mullingitover at 11:59 PM on June 9, 2006


"People don't talk 'at' each other"
People don't use 'favorite' as a verb either, but ther you go.
posted by peacay at 12:04 AM on June 10, 2006


or even: ..but there you go.
posted by peacay at 12:05 AM on June 10, 2006


@@: you're a mighty defender of Hoth.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:05 AM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why is putting usernames in bold annoying? If you're replying to a particular user's comment, highlighting their username increases the likelihood of them noticing your reply.
posted by matthewr at 12:41 AM on June 10, 2006


@grouse don't freak over varying conventions

grouse: don't freak over varying conventions

Even more annoying than Todd Lokkenning? Can we make it stop?

don't freak over varying conventions

grouse said: "Am I the only one who finds this annoying"

don't freak over varying conventions
posted by scarabic at 12:47 AM on June 10, 2006


This is another example of the principle that anything recognizable as any kind of pattern becomes detestable instantly (to some on MeFi).

I've never quite gotten that. I think it's related to the all-too-American need to be a special individual snowflake all the time. We see people clustering into clubs and acting the same and we freak out (mostly because we feel left out, but under the guise of hating herd behaviors).

Seriously. MeFites are way oversensitive to this. They see something once, they don't think about it. They see it twice, they fume internally and bring it to MeTa. They see it three times and they consider it a hallmark of congenital stupidity and/or desire to offend the community.

Chil the fuck out, y'all. Patterns ebb and flow. You may be too cool for school, and you may never ever pick up anything that anyone else ever does, but don't expect everyone to play the outcast iconoclast 100% of the time. Vocabulary comes and goes. Slang comes and goes. Terminology, formatting, ect... it's not a plot to make your head explode.
posted by scarabic at 12:53 AM on June 10, 2006 [5 favorites]


But where does it come from? I'm curious.
posted by furiousthought at 1:18 AM on June 10, 2006


Me too. Never seen it done before. And where did 'OP' for 'original poster' come from? On a website where there is, by definition, only one poster in a thread, it's CFS1.

1. Completely Fucking Stupid
posted by jack_mo at 2:05 AM on June 10, 2006


No. No I think scarabic's wrong. Kill them all.
posted by Jimbob at 2:10 AM on June 10, 2006


It's from digg. It fucking sucks because:

People don't talk "at" each other, they talk to each other.

It is the first reply convention to come to MeFi that I have immediately and passionately hated. Or hated at all, in fact. It must be destroyed.
posted by Ryvar at 2:16 AM on June 10, 2006


Destroy. My lizard hindbrain demands it.
posted by loquacious at 2:18 AM on June 10, 2006


My lizard hindbrain demands it.
posted by Ryvar at 2:26 AM on June 10, 2006


And where did 'OP' for 'original poster' come from? On a website where there is, by definition, only one poster in a thread, it's CFS

the button under the comment text field says "post comment" so if I were to push that button, that would make me a...what exactly?
posted by juv3nal at 2:29 AM on June 10, 2006


sarcastic.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 2:47 AM on June 10, 2006


Yes, yes. "A sarcastic", that's what I meant to say. It's the way I do things. It's from digg.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 2:48 AM on June 10, 2006


What the fuck is this "digg" abomination, and would I need nuclear warfare to understand it or what?
posted by loquacious at 2:55 AM on June 10, 2006


loquacious: digg.com is like Fark for the Boing-boing set. It's pretty good for links, but the comments border on Fark-level retarded.
posted by Ryvar at 4:13 AM on June 10, 2006


"The @ sign may have evolved from the Norman French "à"

@ appears to be the cursive form of ā, an abbreviation of an unknown word beginning with a. In medieval European manuscripts, abbreviations were generally indicated by drawing a line over or through the letters, as in the common IX for Jesus Christ (see Christogram), or # from lb for libra 'pound'. In the typeface of the Gutenberg Bible, ā stands for either an or am within words. However, it is not known which particular word gave rise to modern @.

A commonly accepted theory is that the symbol is derived from the Latin preposition ad, which means about with numerals. However, no document showing this usage has been presented.

A similar idea is that @ is the abbreviation of the Greek preposition ana (ανά), which means 'at the rate of' when used with numerals, exactly its modern commercial usage.

A more recent idea has been proposed by Giorgio Stabile, a professor of history in Rome. He claims to have traced the symbol back to the Italian Renaissance in a Venetian mercantile document signed by Francesco Lapi on May 4, 1536. The document talks about commerces with Pizarro and in particular the price of an @ of wine in Peru, where < @> stood for amphora (Italian anfora; Spanish and Portuguese arroba). The word arroba still means both the @ symbol and a unit of weight (see below). Under this view, the symbol was used to represent one amphora, which was a unit of weight or volume based upon the capacity of the standard terracotta jar, and came into use with the modern meaning "at the rate of" in northern Europe.

However, @ could be the abbreviation of any word beginning in a, and more than one such symbol was likely in use, but there is no continuous record between any of the possibilities and the modern symbol."
posted by peacay at 4:17 AM on June 10, 2006


Actually, when used as described by grouse, I think "@" translates directly to "I am an idiot."
posted by caddis at 4:20 AM on June 10, 2006


Ryvar: That was the sheer, unadultrated essence of sarcasm zooming right over your head. Savor it!
posted by loquacious at 4:39 AM on June 10, 2006


Well...

There we were.

We were working like th@

And then who should come up

But the C@ IN THE H@!
posted by pyramid termite at 4:59 AM on June 10, 2006


For fuck's sake. Don't make me hurt you, you mutant gimpfucker.
posted by loquacious at 5:06 AM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I certainly hope you have sh@ in this thread for the last time.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:08 AM on June 10, 2006


dunno

probably

no

no

no
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:13 AM on June 10, 2006


I've seen it before.

As far as I can tell, it comes from discussion boards where there's no quote feature, or the moderator has disabled it. Like this one. It specifies who you're talking to. Not really that big of a deal.
posted by danb at 5:22 AM on June 10, 2006


No quote feature? What the fuck, did Matt disable blockquote or italics?
Test. One, two, three, four. Fuck. Tranquility? Are you believing this shit? The fucking Moon. The Moon, for fuck's sake.
Nope. Seems to be working.
posted by loquacious at 5:49 AM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think it's really dumb, yeah. People don't talk "at" each other, they talk to each other. People yell at each other.

Perfectly said. That's exactly what annoys me about it, too. I've been wondering where it got its start.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:57 AM on June 10, 2006


2stavrosthewonderchicken: Maybe we should use 2 then instead because we are talking 2 people instead of @ them.

Or maybe we shouldn't because that would be fucking stupid and unnecessary.
posted by grouse at 6:20 AM on June 10, 2006


Stupid and unnecessary is OK, if it's fun. But it wouldn't be much fun.

Although, that said, '2@' might be pronounced 'twat', which would be mildly amusing for about 5 minutes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:24 AM on June 10, 2006


i think that's what we should call people who talk @ people instead of 2 them

Don't be a 2@.
posted by grouse at 6:27 AM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've been wondering where it got its start.

I blame Ray Tomlinson.
posted by scottreynen at 6:33 AM on June 10, 2006


I blame Ray Tomlinson.

I'm totally hunting that fucker down and pooping in his vest pocket.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:35 AM on June 10, 2006


Jeez. Soon people are going to be posting replies above quotes!
posted by Captaintripps at 6:43 AM on June 10, 2006


Why the vest pocket? The watch pocket is unarguably much more offensive.
posted by loquacious at 6:46 AM on June 10, 2006


I think it's really dumb, yeah. People don't talk "at" each other, they talk to each other. People yell at each other.

Heh. I think that explains where it comes from, then. Quite a lot of "@-ing" on MeFi.
posted by JanetLand at 6:48 AM on June 10, 2006


There's the grammatical awfulness, but let's not forget the esthetics of the thing. When aimed at another person's face, @ resembles an orifice just begging for a mutant gimpfucking.
posted by melissa may at 6:57 AM on June 10, 2006


Damn your hide, that one's mine! Get your own!
posted by loquacious at 7:02 AM on June 10, 2006


♣stavrosthewonderchicken
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:03 AM on June 10, 2006


This convention drives me crazy. I hate it. I hate, hate, hate it.

The problem is simple: it's loud and unnecessary. Note:

1. "grouse"
2. "grouse:"
3. "grouse,"
4. "@grouse"

Which of these is (1) kicking off a line with punctuation and (2) using a great big conspicuous unconventional conversational marker?

I mean, I can understand. Really. It's novelty. It's right up there with 1337 sp34k as a clever thing you've discovered you can do. I imagine it goes over like gangbusters with precocious middle school kids.

But it is stupid. It is typographically loud. This is the person who begins their every reply by pointing to themself and shouting, "OH! BUT SIR!" It is an obnoxious and chafing habit, and it is clearly at odds with the existing conventions of the site.

Do not sully the handsome amphora in this way. Do not tread peripherally upon my fondness for nethack. Use a comma or a colon or simply the name of your referent: we can tell that you're talking to them because you used their goddam name.
posted by cortex at 7:03 AM on June 10, 2006 [3 favorites]


Very well said, cortex.
posted by grouse at 7:08 AM on June 10, 2006


Which of these is (1) kicking off a line with punctuation

And anyone who says "lol they all do they start with quotation marks" can go right @ hell.

posted by cortex at 7:30 AM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think it's even more annoying when people address each others' comments without linking to or quoting the actual comment, making you scroll up and actually look through the usernames and ponder, "is this the comment that he's refering to?"

Other things I find annoying :

- stubbing my toe
- cheap umbrellas that turn inside-out at the first sign of wind
- when I buy some field greens, and they go bad after, like, one day in the fridge
- when people let their dogs poop on the sidewalk and don't pick it up
- when I go to the bakery and they're out of scones
- reggaeton
- when I get to the subway station, and I see that a train has just pulled up, but as it turns out my card has run out of credits and I have to buy a new card and wait for the next train
- dialog boxes that have a button that says "cancel" when they really should say "go back," (i.e. you're not actually "cancelling" anything)
- people who talk on earpiece cell phones in public places
- celebrity worship
- conspiracy theorists
- guys with feauhawks
- Internet memes that aren't funny, were never, funny, will never be funny (Ceiling Cat, FSM, Chuck Norris, et al)
- people who over-use the word "basically"
- the song, "I Saw the Sign"
- crowded bars
- when people refer to their computer as their "puter" or their "pooter." ooh this one really gets me.
- people who bring their small children on the subway and let them yell, scream, cry, jabber, run around, etc, and don't make any attempt to restrain them or get them to shut up

Whew. I feel much better now. Carry on.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:34 AM on June 10, 2006


grouse: Appropriate name. You should take over for Andy Rooney when he dies.
posted by absalom at 7:58 AM on June 10, 2006


One of the more meaningful threads we have had here.

/sarcasm
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:02 AM on June 10, 2006


It doesn't bother me.
posted by iconomy at 8:05 AM on June 10, 2006


absalom: Hahaha, you're so original. That joke has certainly never been made before.
posted by grouse at 8:16 AM on June 10, 2006


One of the more meaningful threads we have had here.


Yeah, but it gave us grouse's "Don't be a 2@."
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:33 AM on June 10, 2006


Threaded comments (like those at LiveJournal) would eliminate this problem.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 8:33 AM on June 10, 2006


Yeah, but it gave us grouse's "Don't be a 2@."

grouse's? Whuh?

Threaded comments (like those at LiveJournal) would eliminate this problem.

I will eat your soul.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:47 AM on June 10, 2006


grouse's stavrosthewonderchicken's "Don't be a 2@."
posted by grouse at 8:50 AM on June 10, 2006


Sorry, stav, missed your coinage and saw his use. Am hungover from meetup.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:54 AM on June 10, 2006


Don't matter. It wasn't all that clever, anyway.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:55 AM on June 10, 2006


It was really funny if you didn't read your comment - then it came out of the blue.

Oh never mind. Who has the @vil?
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:59 AM on June 10, 2006


♥blue_beetle: I only read my own comments anyways. Most of you sound like raving loonies. Ha ha, hee hee!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:11 AM on June 10, 2006


i wonder wh@ m@ thinks about all this
posted by pyramid termite at 9:46 AM on June 10, 2006


lol@/\!
posted by reflecked at 9:50 AM on June 10, 2006


Gah. It is the wrong symbol. For this, one should use a redirect or a pipe; >matthowie or |matthowie.
posted by QIbHom at 9:54 AM on June 10, 2006


| down
posted by pyramid termite at 10:01 AM on June 10, 2006


Hmm, @ annoys people? Cool! ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:05 AM on June 10, 2006


Waltzing Ma~, Waltzing Ma~
Who'll come a-Waltzing Ma~, with me ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:07 AM on June 10, 2006


waltzing m@~, surely.
posted by cortex at 10:10 AM on June 10, 2006



posted by sciurus at 10:12 AM on June 10, 2006


that picture reminds me ... i have to take my kid to the zoo today ... i think she wants to feed some ^s to the rabbits
posted by pyramid termite at 10:15 AM on June 10, 2006


But where does it come from? I'm curious.

They do it on flickr a lot, which is the only place I've ever seen it done.
posted by zarah at 10:25 AM on June 10, 2006


ch@filter.
posted by O9scar at 11:04 AM on June 10, 2006


grouse: Well, I guess if you *know* you have a problem, there's no use in an intervention, then.
posted by absalom at 11:10 AM on June 10, 2006


Your mom like a good |
posted by graventy at 11:32 AM on June 10, 2006


Get off my damn lawn!!!!
posted by edgeways at 11:37 AM on June 10, 2006


I agree with grouse that bolding other usernames is bad.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:44 AM on June 10, 2006


As matthewr said, bolding is so that the person you are referencing may draw notice that you are referencing them. Far less rude than talking @ someone.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:59 AM on June 10, 2006


I say, use SMALL CAPS! It's CLASSY.
posted by furiousthought at 12:46 PM on June 10, 2006 [1 favorite]


"It is ironic that @ has become a trendy mark of Internet
awareness since it is a very old symbol, derived from the
latin preposition "ad" (at).

Giorgio Stabile, a professor of history in Rome, has traced
the symbol back to the Italian Renaissance in a Roman
mercantile document signed by Francesco Lapi on 1536-05-04.

In Dutch it is called "apestaartje" (little ape-tail), in
German "affenschwanz" (ape tail)... Italians call it "chiocciola" (snail)."

posted by quonsar at 1:10 PM on June 10, 2006


Isn't "Affenschwanz" "ape dick"?
posted by klangklangston at 2:42 PM on June 10, 2006


Let's get imaginative, shall we?

»quonsar, I see you use capitals when you quote.

¬edgeways, you don't have to yell.

۝۝۩furiousthought, love the SMALL CAPS!
posted by languagehat at 2:42 PM on June 10, 2006


◘Hey, how come they came out all caps?
posted by languagehat at 2:44 PM on June 10, 2006


Ryvar: That was the sheer, unadultrated essence of sarcasm zooming right over your head. Savor it!

*lifts diseased, flu-ridden head up off the keyboard*

Whuuuu . . . ? Unh. 'kay.

*thunk*
posted by Ryvar at 3:05 PM on June 10, 2006


Is it time for Fred Bremmer's poem yet?

<> ! * ' ' #
^ @ ` $ $ -
! * ' $ _
% * <> # 4
& ) . . /
| { ~ ~ SYSTEM HALTED

Waka-waka bang splat tick tick hash,
Caret at back-tick dollar dollar dash,
Bang splat tick dollar underscore,
Percent splat waka-waka number four,
Ampersand right-paren dot dot slash,
Verticle-bar curly-bracket tilde tilde CRASH.
posted by The Bellman at 4:07 PM on June 10, 2006 [5 favorites]


 ※※※※    ※※ ※ ※※ ※ ※※ ※※※ ※※※
posted by Rhomboid at 5:02 PM on June 10, 2006


i really thought my At-At joke would go over better in this crowd.

i can see now that a star wars reference simply wasn't nerdy enough.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:10 PM on June 10, 2006


Sorry Hat. I thought it was pretty damned funny.
posted by graventy at 6:32 PM on June 10, 2006


this thread is aw∑
posted by lord_wolf at 7:13 PM on June 10, 2006


Great thread, time for a singalong - how about Waltzing Ma~?

Okay, that was lame.
posted by yhbc at 8:05 PM on June 10, 2006


-(*)-
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:10 PM on June 10, 2006


Eponysterical.
posted by knave at 10:42 PM on June 10, 2006


oh man somebody activated the firefox input box bug

jerks
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 12:22 AM on June 11, 2006


MetaFilter: Mutant Gimpfuckings.

Or would th@ be:

@MetaFilter Mutant GimpFuckings
posted by Mikey-San at 1:43 PM on June 11, 2006


@juv3nal said 'the button under the comment text field says "post comment" so if I were to push that button, that would make me a...what exactly?'

A commenter.
posted by jack_mo at 4:59 PM on June 11, 2006


@Hat Maui : i really thought my At-At joke would go over better in this crowd.

Well, technically, the AT-ATs were attacking the Rebel base on Hoth, not defending anything on the planet. That, of course, is why I didn't respond. Really, it's not because I didn't get it until after you had to explain it.
posted by Godbert at 9:39 PM on June 11, 2006


I actually didn't respond for that reason. I was all, "hey, AT-AT, that's cute—wait, defenders? They were the aggressors! But maybe he's suggesting that, post-raid, the remaining walkers were used as effective defense units in holding against a retaliatory strike. Is he dipping into some back-story canon from books or something? And how do I respond to that? Ah, fuck it..."

Cognitive dissonance, motherfucker.
posted by cortex at 6:21 AM on June 12, 2006


clearly, the two prior posters took my nerdbait.

it was in no way a joke-ruining mistake on my part. just part of my plan to create an attractive nuisance that causes nerds to self-out. boy, did it ever work!
posted by Hat Maui at 1:42 PM on June 12, 2006


Cries of nerdbait ring hollow, H@ Maui—you knew enough to worm the hook, and are hence implicated!
posted by cortex at 1:44 PM on June 12, 2006


cortex, touche'!
posted by Hat Maui at 6:10 PM on June 12, 2006


Bellman, that's a beautiful thing.
posted by Songdog at 4:34 PM on June 23, 2006


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