Last spring I found myself trying to explain my email address to a classmate that needed to email me some notes for a project. “LJW” for my initials, “PSCI” because it originally was supposed to be just a dumping ground for crap from my poli sci instructor, and “1228” for my birthdate. All that at hotmail. Halfway through explaining my email address, I saw his face glaze over as though my torrent of words had numbed his brain. He left without it. C’est ca.
The problem is, we tend to choose email addresses that make sense to us, but make absolutely no sense to anyone else. For instance, my editor at the Bay Window uses her zip code after her name. Great for her, because she obviously is familiar with her zip code. However, I’m never going to remember it because I don’t live in Holland! Or how about an old boyfriend who used the number from the Fahrenheit book after some nickname of his. I can’t remember his nickname to save my life (although I know what I would call him) and the only number any Americans associate with Fahrenheit now is “911” thanks to Michael Moore. Yesterday I sent five emails to a colleague because each time she told me something different but every one came back undeliverable. Even she can’t remember her email address! Now that’s sad.
Wouldn’t life be interesting if we could choose email addresses for other people? We could choose email addresses that either embody what we think of them or we could cleverly hide our secret resentments within couched terms of good will. Like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You know…fun stuff like that.
But until that day comes when we can choose emails for other people, we are going to have to live with the drivel they come up with themselves. Which makes my email address completely drivelishous! Yum!