MetaFilter naming culture and conventions June 19, 2012 6:02 AM   Subscribe

This post got me thinking about Metafilter and screen names: why is MeFi unlike other websites?

Metafilter, in my experience is almost unique in the screen name variety and profusion. There aren't hordes of people with myname#### or witty_phrase, unlike many other places. Not to cast apersions on people who choose those names, but it seems like many screen name systems do not recognize spaces, punctuation, or many of the other characters MeFites use to name themselves. Which force users to adopt simple names. Also, names here can be long - much longer than at some other sites, another area of complexity.

This, I believe, creates a unique naming culture. Not from nowhere did 'eponysterical' become a meme/catchphrase. Was the decision to allow longer and more complex names a deliberate one? How has it affected the community?

Related: Users with numbers in their names

Related: Similar Usernames

Related: Favorite MetaFilter usernames

Related: Similar usernames confuse some readers
posted by the man of twists and turns to MetaFilter-Related at 6:02 AM (100 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

How YOU doin'?
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:16 AM on June 19, 2012


I've always wondered this as well - the reasonably long length and ability to include spaces (which I think was rare when Mefi started) is obviously part of it. The fact that it costs a few bucks might slow people down to put more thought into name choice.

A question for the mods - have there been any tweaks to the allowable names over Metafilter's lifespan?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:17 AM on June 19, 2012


What I've always wondered is how people with the super long names log in to Metafilter when they're not on a familiar computer (where they presumably have login info stored and/or never log out of Metafilter anyway).

(Heck, I have trouble remembering if I'm kmz or kmzh on any particular site.)

Though that leads to another question: We can have spaces and punctuation in our usernames, but are they differentiating? In other words, can there be two distinct users, one with username "user", the other with username "u ser"?
posted by kmz at 6:20 AM on June 19, 2012


I think part of it is the feeling of ownership over the name we have when we pay up $5 to join the site. There is the sense that this is a lifetime membership, and we're going to be stuck with the name for a long time, so we think a bit more about what our name should be. Whereas on other sites, it isn't so very momentous, so we just pick some random name with various letters tacked on at the end of it.
posted by peacheater at 6:20 AM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to confess I never even considered using my whole last name although I could have. I'm just so used to used this format at other places that it was just automatic.
posted by tommasz at 6:25 AM on June 19, 2012


I just went with my name, I guess that's not very creative.
posted by Blake at 6:26 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tell me about it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:29 AM on June 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'd like to say that there was planning going into my username. But there wasn't and now I'm stuck.
posted by arcticseal at 6:30 AM on June 19, 2012


I originally had spaces, but when it came to the payment screen I wavered on whether to sign up or not. Later, when I decided I did want to sign up, Ends Of Invention had been consigned to the Dustbin Of Abandoned Signups and so I had to go spaceless.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:35 AM on June 19, 2012


A question for the mods - have there been any tweaks to the allowable names over Metafilter's lifespan?

As I recall, MeFi used to allow non-Unicode characters in usernames, but that got taken away because of a potential exploit. This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:37 AM on June 19, 2012


I make myself use my real name so I don't say stupid stuff.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:37 AM on June 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


I've been using this name online since about 1992. I was a huge Warren Zevon fan back then.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:41 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I make myself use my stupid name so I can say real stuff.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:42 AM on June 19, 2012 [20 favorites]


Obviously the real name is produces a bit of a different persona than a handle, for one can easily be found if someone were to intensely look. With a handle, it's a free-for-all. Obviously, there is a different plan if someone depending on if someone into a bank with or without a mask.

For example, is it "pea cheater" or "peach eater"? If it's "pea cheater", I think I may know who you are, for there is a pub in South London – Clapham – where, depending on the manager on duty, one receives a completely different quantity of peas with their cod. The cod is the same size obviously, however (and it's been a few years) there was such a wild variation on quantity of peas. Often, it was the standard pea party, with the cod slightly obscured with peas. But sometimes, there was a gulf between the cod and the peas, as if whoever was putting the peas on the plate was trying to minimise pea expenses. Perhaps the pea-handler had deep-seated issues about foods touching and simply minimised pea-presence in an attempt to ensure each component had plenty of room. But I think it was the former – they were a pea-cheater.

So, "pea cheater", whilst you have made a valiant attempt to pea cheat in obscurity, your handle has indeed given you away. With a minimum of deduction other than old latent displeasure at the lightness of my mush, your mask may well have just been removed.

Unless you are a "peach eater", in which case I will presume you are from Georgia and your secrets remain well-hidden.
posted by nickrussell at 6:43 AM on June 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


What was the unicode exploit? Was it just people using combining characters to match other usernames & causing potential mod confusion?
posted by pharm at 6:44 AM on June 19, 2012


Obviously, there is a different plan depending on if someone walks into a bank with or without a mask. (me talk pretty one day and whatnot)
posted by nickrussell at 6:45 AM on June 19, 2012


Was it just people using combining characters to match other usernames & causing potential mod confusion?

I think so? I mean we've had joke accounts like mathovvie but I think in this case you could have an account that looked like it was exactly the same letters as an actual account but the letter wouldn't technically be the same to the server so you could still register it. It was actually a while there before we did strict checking on usernames so there are still a few old usernames that are the same. I think we went through and cleared them all out but the usernames are one of a short list of things that were set up here sort of herkyjerky originally and took a while to get correctly sorted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 AM on June 19, 2012


why is MeFi unlike other websites?

On all other websites, we may eat either chometz or matzoh; on this website, only matzoh.
posted by griphus at 6:57 AM on June 19, 2012 [53 favorites]


pharm: "What was the unicode exploit? Was it just people using combining characters to match other usernames & causing potential mod confusion?"

I wasn't aware there was an exploit, so I'm curious too.

"I'm not going to allow unicode for usernames. It's a big ball of problems apart from one user with question marks.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:04 AM on August 17, 2005 [+] [!]

posted by zarq at 6:58 AM on June 19, 2012


Same username as in the bang path days, alas.
posted by dhartung at 6:59 AM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


What I've always wondered is how people with the super long names log in to Metafilter when they're not on a familiar computer (where they presumably have login info stored and/or never log out of Metafilter anyway).

We are supre humanely intelligent, obviously.

More seriously, my user name comes from a sketch by my favourite comedian, which helps a bit.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:05 AM on June 19, 2012


When I was a lad, I found a definite difference in my e-persona, depending on whether I used a randomly-created name, or my real name.

On MeFi, I keep my real name in my profile, which is a nice combo. Keeps me from saying stupid stuff (ha, I wish), but also is the me that is Rebent, not the me that is working down the hall from you.
posted by rebent at 7:05 AM on June 19, 2012


The best "Name With Weird Characters In It" story is ND¢'s.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:08 AM on June 19, 2012 [13 favorites]


On MeFi, I keep my real name in my profile, which is a nice combo. Keeps me from saying stupid stuff (ha, I wish), but also is the me that is Rebent, not the me that is working down the hall from you.
posted by rebent at 7:05 AM on June 19 [+] [!]


Well that's the interesting thing about the pseudo-anonymity of a site like metafilter. I've disclosed enough information about myself here through commenting that at worst (best?) a determined person could narrow my actual identity to a handful of people. Actually it should be dead easy given that I list my first name in my profile.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:23 AM on June 19, 2012


Aside from finally paying for an LJ account (boy that was a waste), this is one of the few places I've paid to post. And I didn't want to be me again so I picked a favorite punctuation mark so I can just be unique. Or unique enough. Not a real name, and I equivocate about posting real stuff.

Other places I have a "usual login name" or if I'm not going to be there much, I choose my login name from the capchtchathoskiti phrase.

I can't speak to the pre-payment-era users, but some of the names might have simply come from "Lets be different, cuz all these other froods are". I'm just glad I didn't pick one that might become outdated like Why 2K? or Who's Zune-ing Who or Regina Phalange ... Though Sock Puppet Wench isn't that bad ...
posted by tilde at 7:24 AM on June 19, 2012


For example, is it "pea cheater" or "peach eater"?

It could be "Physical Education ACademic Heater," too, signifying someone who prefers to keep warm with a vigorous regimen of exercise and study, as well as "Physical Education ache Ater," meaning that Ater is rather sore after all that exercise.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:25 AM on June 19, 2012


I'm not sure if the term "eponysterical" was coined here, but this is where I learned it. Since then, I have noticed scores, if not millions, of comments, mostly on the blue, that are exquisitely eponysterical. Once you start seeing them, they're everywhere. (Alas, my own screen name doesn't lend itself to eponysteria.)
posted by scratch at 7:29 AM on June 19, 2012


I'm definitely at the boring end of the username spectrum: Bugs is my nickname amongst many of my friends in real life, and I'm on Metafilter, so... metaBugs. woo. I originally intended to have something long and witty in the style of a Culture ship name but, by the time I had convinced myself that Matt wasn't going to steal my credit card details and use my student food budget to fund a glamorous holiday to the local bus stop of his choice, it was late in the day and my wit had abandoned me.

I've disclosed enough information about myself here through commenting that at worst (best?) a determined person could narrow my actual identity to a handful of people.

Same here. From my posting history, someone with a particularly dull life could get a solid idea of my job, my qualifications, and the cities I've worked in, which would narrow me down to a pretty small number of people if they happened to be familiar with my field. And there's easily enough information about my personal life for someone who knows me to recognise me, even ignoring my username. However, it's still effectively impossible to start from knowing me IRL and get to my online identities, as googling "bugs" is not terribly useful and I'm careful to avoid names and certain keywords in my posts.

the man of twists and turns - This, I believe, creates a unique naming culture
Possibly. The first forum I spent a good chunk of time on was attached to PhDComics. It had a much smaller active population than MeFi, probably a few dozen at its peak, but a similar atmosphere: left-leaning, (over!)educated, generally very well-behaved and a good mixture of weighty discussion and silliness. It also had similar diversity of names, with a good mix of apparently real names, short name-like handles, nonsense or obscure sets of characters and witty phrases.

jessamyn - I mean we've had joke accounts like mathovvie

Wasn't there also a sockpuppet that had your name almost exactly? I only saw it used once, in MetaTalk, and it was pretty obviously a good-natured joke. IIRC you pointed out the difference between the names, which was something pretty subtle. Damned if I can remember any details that would pull it out on a search engine, though.
posted by metaBugs at 7:47 AM on June 19, 2012


(Alas, my own screen name doesn't lend itself to eponysteria.)
--scratch

FTFY
posted by drlith at 7:47 AM on June 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here's the post on the non-unicode exploit.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:57 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think there are way more people in the world who know me as Sidhedevil than by my name. Or IceCreamEmpress. Or JupiterPluvius.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:01 AM on June 19, 2012


I keep a list of my favorite usernames on my profile. I'm particularly fond of long ones, the kind which use spaces and punctuation, and ones that seem meant to be spoken (e.g. "Hello, Revelers! I am Captain Lavender!"). Here's the current list:
Short Attention Sp
a womble is an active kind of sloth
25 cats named Sam
sister nunchaku of love and mercy
The Bridge on the River Kai Ryssdal
fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit
It's Raining Florence Henderson
one more dead town's last parade
weretable and the undead chairs
le morte de bea arthur
oneswellfoop
Dandeson Coates, Sec'y
mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey
Hello, Revelers! I am Captain Lavender!
Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown
Protocols of the Elders of Sockpuppetry
Marisa Stole the Precious Thing
Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America
Mummy of a Lady Named Jemutesonekh
Two unicycles and some duct tape
A Long and Troublesome Lameness
thermonuclear.jive.turkey
Miss Otis' Egrets
Falwless
Combustible Edison Lighthouse
joseph conrad is fully awesome
game warden to the events rhino
a little headband I put around my throat
i'm being pummeled very heavily
bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated
Faint of Butt
posted by ocherdraco at 8:30 AM on June 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


I make myself use my real name so I don't say stupid stuff.

Same here, brother.
posted by xBongzilla69x at 8:40 AM on June 19, 2012 [23 favorites]


On all other websites, we may eat either chometz or matzoh; on this website, only matzoh.

On all other websites, we may read either pantsed or pantsless; on this website, only pantsless.
posted by elizardbits at 8:57 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


...aren't you at work?

(If yes, then are they hiring?)
posted by griphus at 9:03 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Remember the big reveal in A Prayer for Owen Meany? Someday my username will make crazy lucid sense, all will be revealed.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:13 AM on June 19, 2012


A question for the mods - have there been any tweaks to the allowable names over Metafilter's lifespan?

The only thing I recall for sure is that we removed Unicode character support at some point when it was proving to be three or four distinct kinds of pain in the ass, up to an including direct username spoofing using look-alike glyphs. Also makes URL stuff a problem but that ship has flown and we treat userid as canonical for user pages as a result; also makes display stuff messy if people use glyphs that aren't basically totally standard in all Unicode display fonts since some folks just literally won't see your username as intended.

Thank god we made this change pre-Zalgo, is all I can say.

Usernames were also originally not checked for similarity in the very, very early days, so we ended up with more than one judith originally. There may have been another segment after there where case was considered differentiating. Now we test for similarity regardless of case, so no one can e.g. sign up as Cortex or cORtEx.

(There also used to be a display bug where the case you used to log in was preserved in a couple spots on the UI on the user side, so if I logged in as cOrTeX it'd show like "Posting as: cOrTeX" above the comment box on my screen, but not on anyone else's. Led to occasional confusion when people couldn't agree on how their username was capitalized because they didn't realize they were using a non-canonical caps format to log in with and then were getting visual feedback of their variant username and getting used to it.)

Though that leads to another question: We can have spaces and punctuation in our usernames, but are they differentiating? In other words, can there be two distinct users, one with username "user", the other with username "u ser"?

They are differentiating, yes. Someone could in principle sign up as "cor tex" or as "cortex." but in practice I would probably begin immediately frowning at them.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:34 AM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've used the same name or variations on it since probably '91 or so in other areas of the internet. Metafilter's naming allowances or limitations played no role in its selection. Yeah. I read Dune the summer before. It's haunted me ever since (by choice?). So I guess I probably fall into a category of users who have just brought along the names they've used in the past and which happily are not barred entry here.
posted by Atreides at 9:45 AM on June 19, 2012


What about "cortex " (note the space). Would that be possible? Or: " cortex".
posted by cjorgensen at 9:49 AM on June 19, 2012


Nope, we strip leading and trailing spaces while validating a signup attempt on the server side.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:53 AM on June 19, 2012


You can just try it out cjorgensen :) You'll find that the user-sign up page strips leading and trailing spaces.

I have to admit that on another site I've constructed my name out of a few appropriate glyphs and combining diacritical marks because a moribund user had registered the name I wanted to change to. I wouldn't do it if said user was actually active and the potential for mis-use is fairly obvious. (The site in question *used* to let you change your name to whatever you wanted on a comment-by-comment basis which I never understood the motivation for & unsurprisingly they eventually took it away. Much fun was had in the meantime & following the changing usernames was part of the style of the site for a while, but sadly real world concerns meant the facility was removed.)
posted by pharm at 9:56 AM on June 19, 2012


(Also, presumably you wouldn't have that little "Staff" button even if you did manage to register as " cortex")
posted by pharm at 9:57 AM on June 19, 2012


Thwarted again!
posted by cjorgensen at 10:10 AM on June 19, 2012


Before I signed up, I sought a word for my username that was rare, short, and somewhat easy, even pleasant, to pronounce; possessed, too, of an evocative definition, while absolutely void of association. I meant to be sole proprietor of my name, the only forger of its connotations.

I spent almost an entire lunch break in my search, poring over the words treasured up in the vaults of the Phrontistery. Finally I found what was I looking for, navigated to the New User screen, and made the necessary offerings.

The instant after it was accepted, I realized that my choice could be construed as "I ridicule," "irate dick," or "I ♥ The Chronicles of Riddick," and I despaired. But nearly six years on, no one's yet pointed out those connections; I think my dignity's safe.
posted by Iridic at 10:19 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


cortex: Usernames were also originally not checked for similarity in the very, very early days, so we ended up with more than one judith originally.

Related MetaTalk thread: DoppelMetaGangers.

I have a handful of other handles on other sites, all single words. In one case, it's an amalgamation of other handles, but it's still smooshed into a single word. Allowing long user names with spaces kind of blew my mind, so I took a while trying to come up with something that I would like for a while. I use this nowhere else (except MeCha).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:22 AM on June 19, 2012


Wait - so we weren't legally required to change our IRL names to match our MetaFilter user names? Crap!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:26 AM on June 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Remember the big reveal in A Prayer for Kevin Meaney? Someday we will all be big pants people.
posted by mintcake! at 10:59 AM on June 19, 2012


I thought a lot about usernames before I signed up. I liked the idea of using the title of a song, but wanted something that would also be evocative without knowing the song.

Basically everywhere else on the Internet, I use my real name. I think I wanted a certain level of anonymity when I first signed up, but now, Metafilter seems just as good a place as any to be my "real" online self.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:39 PM on June 19, 2012


I'll propose that it's not just that people pay more attention to their own username, but in MetaFilter they are required to pay more attention to other people's usernames as well.

In other communities, people can also be identified by their avatar, their signature line, annoying font selection, made-up title, or other bit of personalized gobbledygook. They've even got these "reply" and "notification" features that automatically quote the other person's comment and notify you if someone else replies to your comments.

Somewhere else, I'd get a notification that someone responded to me and then be prompted to respond back, without specifically knowing who that person is (other than maybe "that guy with that cat avatar"). On Metafilter, if I want to respond to someone, I'll have to directly name that person; and then that person will have to actively search for their own username, and then respond by directly naming me. Both of these interactions require that both you pay more attention to other people's usernames and your own.
posted by meowzilla at 1:06 PM on June 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


In other communities, people can also be identified by their avatar, their signature line, annoying font selection, made-up title, or other bit of personalized gobbledygook.

In mefi as it is in heaven
posted by Greg Nog at 1:14 PM on June 19, 2012


I have a minor twitter addiction. I have more accounts than I can realistically remember (let alone update). I have one that is the same username as here. That's the "real" me. I seldom post to it. I also have other accounts where I pretty much am an nearly-anonymous idiot.

It's weird to me that I've encapsulated some of those identities to where I would never think of updating my personal account with "At IHOP!" but I totally would with one of the anonymous accounts.

In short, I'm weird.

I've thought of getting a more cleverly named account here, but some of what I would want to do with said account is frowned on here. Like I seldom talk about my profession, since I don't really want my answers to askme questions and such to be associated with my work. On other sites I am compartmentalized so depending on what I am doing I may log in as one account or another.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:15 PM on June 19, 2012


I delayed signing up until I knew I had the right name. This is basically the first website I've belonged to so it was weird how quickly I began to identify as immediately with my screename as I do with my actual name. I think I made a comment once about how those people who bold the names of the users they're quoting remind me of my mother using my full name to let me know I was in trouble - well it's true. Life here is strangely real.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:55 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey, villanelles at dawn is back.
posted by griphus at 1:56 PM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Using my real name took a lot of courage, guts, and intestinal fortitude, so I'd like to conclude my remarks by saying how proud of myself I am at having achieved this massive accomplishment in the field of bravery.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:03 PM on June 19, 2012


I forgot how much fun that First thread was, except that now I feel like making piecrust.

I wonder how much butter is in the freezer.
posted by catlet at 2:37 PM on June 19, 2012


I started here with basically my real name (jnrussell was my old handle), then after about a year and some significant shifts in my worldview (thanks in part fo MeFi discussions) I decided to "start over" with a more creative name.

It was worth the extra five bucks.
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:24 PM on June 19, 2012


I love name threads. I wish we could use color in our names, because I can't tell the difference between fishfucker and five fresh fish, so their comments (if any, not sure either is still around) all seem to me to come from five fresh fishfuckers. I should work on this because I have made this comment before, but fuck it.
posted by theora55 at 3:33 PM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have written a lot about Metafilter over the last year for research articles (none published, sadly), that allude to the fact that Metafilter's great difference is in its tendency toward "intellectual moderation". IM is the moderator game of taking out (excising) what can't be unsaid from what can in a way that fits a narrative that is ongoing/undecided but without condescending the intelligence of the user.

Occasionally, IM can be done to death, such as the banning of a user mid-stream, such as Bravelittletoaster. The challenge of IM is in working to the conditions of the member base and, as I said above, not developing a whole new thread of anger as a result of a small (but largely unseen by all) decision that will no doubt be felt by an individual user.
posted by parmanparman at 3:44 PM on June 19, 2012


What theora55 said, except that to further increase my confusion, we also have a fucker.
posted by Lynsey at 3:49 PM on June 19, 2012


Early on, I used my Metafilter name in other places on the web; I have come to feel unhappy about that. When I come across thinkpiece in other places I change it if I can. For some reason, I only want to be thinkpiece here. Dunno!
posted by thinkpiece at 4:57 PM on June 19, 2012

(Alas, my own screen name doesn't lend itself to eponysteria.)
posted by scratch at 12:29 AM on June 20 [+] [!]
That's because it's a nick.
posted by Pinback at 5:58 PM on June 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I am definitely one of the group that uses a form of my real name in the hope that it will keep me from saying foolish things. On the other hand, my vast legion of sock puppets are the biggest group of assholes you can imagine; complete trolls, the lot of 'em!
posted by TedW at 6:03 PM on June 19, 2012


(Alas, my own screen name doesn't lend itself to eponysteria.)
posted by scratch at 12:29 AM on June 20 [+] [!]

That's because it's a nick.
posted by Pinback at 5:58 PM on June 19


The devil you say, Pinback!
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:45 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The instant after it was accepted, I realized that my choice could be construed as "I ridicule," "irate dick," or "I ♥ The Chronicles of Riddick," and I despaired. But nearly six years on, no one's yet pointed out those connections; I think my dignity's safe.

I can say both that I never thought of those before in connection with you and that I will find it very hard from now on not to think of you as "I rate dick". Potentially useful service, that.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:43 PM on June 19, 2012


I actually didn't sign up for a long time because I couldn't come up with a clever username. The lot of you intimidated me with your beautiful names (yes, even you people who just used your real names).

This one isn't really clever (or eponysteria-friendly), but at least it reminds me of the summer.
posted by topoisomerase at 10:26 PM on June 19, 2012


Someone else's name is book 'em, danno, and, apparently, we signed up about a month apart from each other. But I'm glad we're raising awareness about the age-old question of Dano vs. Danno.
posted by book 'em dano at 11:53 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been karmakaze since my BBS days. I'm not sure it would even have occurred to me to have used a phrase or my real name signing up here.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:21 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


What I don't get is people who have a username full if mystique like "The Blinding Light of Cosmic Serendipity" and then on their profile it looks like:

Name: Doris Jones
Occupation: Actuary

posted by MuffinMan at 7:09 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


My first AOL account was dulok, and then when I turned 13 I was like "No way, man! An obscure Star Wars reference does NOT capture the maturity I posses as a 13-year-old." And so SpiffyRob was born. While I was well versed in the tradition of lowercase-only, I (correctly) figured capital letters would make me seem suave.

I still posses the same level of maturity.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:46 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hear you. When Metachat first spun up lo those many years ago, I summoned up every ounce of thoughtfulness at hand and registered as "Gaydolf Shitler".
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:58 AM on June 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


In East Germany that would get you beer and volga.
posted by clavdivs at 8:22 AM on June 20, 2012


Hello, I'm David McGahan's profile

Hahahahahahahahahaha! Man. I need more funny things.

My user name is one that I used a lot when I was in high school. I thought I was being unique. Now, everywhere I go, the username is taken, so I have to add something to it (an underscore or my favorite number or both).

Occasionally, I've considered making a new account on every site I'm on, with a consistent name, but then I remember that I don't really want to start over. Sometimes people remember who I am, and I don't want to have to start over without those connections.
posted by Night_owl at 8:31 AM on June 20, 2012


I can only hope those two banned dudes who were generous with the favorites are allowed back under new names. The best thing about them being banned, though, is that they can't remove all their favorites.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:52 AM on June 20, 2012


I can only hope those two banned dudes who were generous with the favorites are allowed back under new names.

Wait, what?! What the hell are you being coy about?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:05 AM on June 20, 2012


I think you know exactly who, sir!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:15 AM on June 20, 2012


Stop thinking, it doesn't bring out your best features!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:22 AM on June 20, 2012


I agree that paying is the thing here, it focuses you on the name, because, as metioned upthread, it feels like you are buying a life membership.

I lurked here for ages before I joined up, years tbh. Then I think I wanted to post something, or join in a discussion, so I ponied up. I chose the name as I love the film, and had just watched it twice in 2 weeks.

"I'm just glad I didn't pick one that might become outdated like Why 2K? or Who's Zune-ing Who..."
posted by tilde

Don't tell y2Karl.
posted by marienbad at 12:00 PM on June 20, 2012


I prefer to think that his intention is "y tu, Karl?" and it's actually a reference to a Univision daytime soap opera based very, very loosely on the story of Julius Caesar.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:04 PM on June 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


What I've always wondered is how people with the super long names log in to Metafilter when they're not on a familiar computer

Not a problem if your super long name is a phrase. Remembering the password is the bigger problem.

(Although sometimes it takes me two tries because I forget the capitalization on W and K.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:45 PM on June 20, 2012


Oooh, I love fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit!

Some other usernames I've really liked:

Monkey!Knife!Fight!
We had a deal, Kyle
the young rope-rider
This, of course, alludes to you
Powerful Religious Baby
backupjesus
pinksoftsoap
Queen of Spreadable Fats
warbaby
Juliet Banana
joseph conrad is fully awesome
vibrotronica
two or three cars parked under the stars
His thoughts were red thoughts
East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94
banjo_and_the_pork
Hey Dean Yeager!
Turtles all the way down
Tacos Are Pretty Great
Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
Julia F***ing Sugarbaker
evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight

I want a new username but I can't think of anything good. :(
posted by triggerfinger at 8:47 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've considered changing my user name but I've become fond of it. Were I signing up today I'd probably choose something different, but whatevs.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:22 PM on June 20, 2012


I didn't give my name any thought, nor does it have any personal significance. I just grabbed the first thing I could think of that was not similar to any screen name I had ever used anywhere else.

If I had my time again, my screen name would be "As he a heavy A heavy sleeper, Roger Rogerson, old Rogerson bought old Rogers bought, so afraid, Being a heavy sleeper, old Rogers was so afraid of missing tomorrow. He was a heavy sleeper. He was mortally afraid of missing tomorrow's event glory early train glory so what he did was to buy and bring home in a to buy that evening and bring home not one but eight alarm clocks of different sizes and vigour of ticking nine eight eleven alarm clocks of different sizes ticking which alarm clocks nine alarm clocks as a cat has nine which he placed which made his bedroom look like a" but hindsight is 20/20.
posted by tel3path at 4:51 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


There aren't hordes of people with myname####

Pistols at dawn, sir.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:32 AM on June 21, 2012


The exception clause for powers of two is, of course, implied.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:40 AM on June 21, 2012


There aren't hordes of people with myname####

Oddly we'd just been talking about seeing a bunch of newer users in AskMe with this sort of naming convention and it was curious enough that we talked about it on the ModList.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:47 AM on June 21, 2012


I wonder if the myname#### people are coming over and deciding to "remain themselves" from other places.
posted by tilde at 11:13 AM on June 21, 2012


posers!
posted by notmyname#### at 11:22 AM on June 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to say the breadth and wittiness of usernames here was really intimidating, yet I can't say what exactly led from that feeling to choosing what I suspect is my yoga instructor's favorite word.
posted by psoas at 1:52 PM on June 21, 2012


I used sammy for accounts for a long time, but too may other sammy's started coming out of the woodwork and finding sites before me. I have a low digit slashdot account as sammy but forgot the password and during a spurt of geektrest added a new one as sammyo. I do feel rather mundane and dull here but that I guess is fitting.
posted by sammyo at 4:39 PM on June 21, 2012


why is MeFi unlike other websites?

On all other websites, we may eat either meat or beans; on this website, only beans.
posted by madcaptenor at 9:03 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I honestly do not remember why I chose this as my username. I know I was studying design and prepress at the time, but... eh. Not relevant, anymore, so I forgot. Now I am an unpronounceable acronym for all MetaTime, unless you say it as "see mike," which I suppose would work, but I do not see any mikes around here.

It has led to some funny moments where people say "Wait, you're a girl?" Being an acronym means I'm not obviously female, I guess - until I talk about tampons or something.
posted by cmyk at 9:23 AM on June 22, 2012


cmyk: "Now I am an unpronounceable acronym for all MetaTime, unless you say it as "see mike," which I suppose would work, but I do not see any mikes around here. "

FWIW, I always read your name in my head as individual letters: C. M. Y. K.
posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, I remember what it was now. The trade school I went to for Art Stuff often put the print kids in with the computer design kids. So we'd be arguing back and forth, CMYK! RGB! 72dpi! 300ppi!

Oh hey, meet a new person, exchange names, you cmyk or rgb? Ha.
posted by cmyk at 11:16 AM on June 22, 2012


cmyk: " So we'd be arguing back and forth, CMYK! RGB! 72dpi! 300ppi! "

Exactly! :D
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was like a very artsy gang war with zip disks. (Remember those? I grow old...) And cans of Super 77.

When you're in print you're in print all the way
From your first Courier fuckup to your last deadline day
And GUYS I CANNOT USE THIS IF YOU SAVE IT AT 72
I DO NOT CARE IF IT ISN'T YOUR PROBLEM
I WILL MAKE IT YOUR PROBLEM
THIS IS NOT ROCKET SURGERY PEOPLE
YOUR MEDIA IS GOING TO LOOK GODAWFUL
AND IT WILL BE YOUR FAULT, YOURS


Prepress traumatic scaling disorder.
posted by cmyk at 11:26 AM on June 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


If you want to testdrive a new username, a mere 5 bucks (as in, same as in town) will get you a new moniker to check out. I only posted this because moniker is such a fun word.
posted by theora55 at 6:35 PM on June 22, 2012


As a note "Eponysterical" was coined on Metachat.


16 November 2005
I think the adjective should be "eponysterical."

The noun should be "nomenquipture."
posted by scarabic 16 November | 18:06

posted by Megafly at 5:18 PM on June 24, 2012


They wouldn't let me use the acute accents on my e's. I wish I had chosen a different name because it looks goofy without the accents.
posted by désoeuvrée at 8:57 PM on June 25, 2012


Hit reload and pay it forward.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:03 PM on June 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Holy e-aigu batman! It's like Christmas morning!!! Wow... Thanks jessamyn!
posted by désoeuvrée at 10:33 PM on June 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


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