17 December 2004

What's in a name?

Sometimes, like bad reputations, outmoded email addresses follow us despite our better judgment.
Usually by the time we graduate college, we are ready to abandon tofu420 or beerandboobsguy.* Operating under the pretense of responsible adulthood, we adopt bland monikers--just our name(s), perhaps a few numbers to jazz it up.

When I was preparing to graduate college and seek gainful employment, I did not have a quirky email addy I needed to dump. I had used the university-issued one--first initial, last name. But those of you who know me, know my last name causes me angst every now and then. Not some consonant-laden, unpronouncable surname, it is one most people recognize. The thing is that that they recognize it spelled the more common way (i.e. not the way I spell it). If it matters, when asked my last name, I spell it out before saying it to avoid people's rote writing of it. Even this defense frequently fails and the person misspells my last name. So, when it was part of my email address, I would sometimes not receive emails because people misspelled my last name.

I didn't want to deal with it, so I decided to choose an addy that did not contain my last name. I did not want a SKU code of forgetable numbers tacked onto my first name, though; I wanted an easily memorable name. After trying a few permutations of my first name, middle name, last initial and one or two numbers, I resorted to whimsy. Logical whimsy, though, mind you.

Though I did not possess a silly email addy, I did have a weird AIM handle--mintelixir. The name was culled from my strong affinity for all things peppermint and my infatuation with the word elixir. This was obviously too daffy for a utiliarian email address, though.

And, somehow, peppermintlisa was not too silly. It's memorable, certainly. And so it has stuck--becoming my handle in web forums and the like. There is too much invested in it now to change it, and so I remain: peppermint.

* actual addresses of people I know

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