Shortening user names...

brugloverZ9August 1, 2008

I don't know about others...but for me, it is so much easier to use a shorter name for the user. I immediately shortened...bronwysmom to bmom & justgotabme to JGBM. I know for myself it would be fine with me if anyone shortened my user name anyway they would like.

I see on another post, offense was taken by a user having her user name shortened, in a way she wasn't pleased with.

What do you all think? For me, I think it is just too much trouble to write out the whole name, especially if it is a long one instead of abbreviating it. But I certainly wouldn't want to offend anyone!

Let's talk about it!

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The only reason mine has "mt" at the end is that I started on the gardening forum, and having the state to associate with a zone is helpful in answering questions, etc (and there had to be something to distinguish "me" from any other "Jamie's" out there). I always figure people will assume that my name is the part *before* the underscore, everything else is superfluous. Actually, I kind of feel bad when someone types the whole thing out, and I make a point to try to "sign" the next post with my name so people will know it's okay to use just that. :-)

I try not to shorten other's user names unless I know thier "real" name (in which case I use that), or if I know they don't mind. But I do get lazy, sometimes...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:06AM
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jamie...actually I started on the gardening forum too and that is why I have the z9...the zone was helpful when posting over there!

I guess the real surprise to me it that anyone would take offense to a name being shortened. In real life my name gets shortened and changed all the time. I find it a kind of endearment to use a shorter form of a name. Not so for everyone I guess.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:15AM
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I never shorten... you might be shortening to someone else's user name and that leads to confusion.

I WILL use real name if I know it.
Otherwise, it takes half a second to copy & paste... no typing required!

If you don't care for long names, why do you have one??
(just asking in fun... not meaning to kick up a fuss!)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:16AM
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I didn't see any offense taken on the other thread - all she did was let you know what she prefers to be called. No problem. And like was said, if she didn't say anything about it, how else would you know?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 11:33AM
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Hmmm, interesting question. I always try to sign my posts with my real name.

I grew up as Barbie, then Bobbie, Babs, and Barb. I always loved the sound of 'Barbara', so when I entered the 'corporate' world, that was my preference. Many people ask courteously what I like to be called, and I have always appreciated that.

Family is a different story, it's still Barbie and always will be.

To answer this issue, if someone signed their real name I would use it in response. If not, I would shorten it to whatever I was comfortable with.

I have always loved the ebay identifier for 'whatsanotherbuckortwo'! And yes, I would shorten that in a NY minute!

Barbara, now and forever more Barbara

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:45PM
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offense was taken

I was going to say I didn't take offense. And in a way, I didn't. You don't know me, so how could you know that I dislike being called "Sue," and that it's not my name?

But, as I think about it, maybe I did take offense a little. By shortening my name, you assumed a knowledge of me, and an intimacy with me, that you cannot possibly have.

You acted as though your assumptions about me were more important than the information I had given you. What you *thought* my name *might* be was more important to you than what I had stated my name *is* (talley_sue or talley_sue_nyc).

Of course I know you don't really know me. But I think that's why you shouldn't have made assumptions about what my name REALLY is. When people sign their names, or introduce themselves, the name you're given then is the name you should use until the person gives you permission to call them by another name. That's basic Etiquette 101.

And, if you really want to shorten a name, you lop off the back.

I don't actually think there's anything endearing about shortening someone's name *on your own*, not even in real life. Or if there is, it needs to happen in the context of an ALREADY CLOSE relationship. "Endearing" doesn't belong in casual relationships.

If someone introduces themselves to me, or signs their name, as Elizabeth (or someone else introduces them as Elizabeth), I think it would be rude for me to simply start calling them "Liz" because *I* am too lazy to use all the syllables or because I've decided they should go by a nickname.

For one thing, there are other nicknames (Betty, Bets, Lizzie). For another, people can feel strongly about nicknames.

For example, my official "first name," in real life, is two words. So if someone drops off the second word, they're already shortening my name. I'm perfectly fine w/ people doing that--I don't consider it "endearing" or anything except perhaps rushed.

However, I've known people who insisted on *also* shortening the first word to one syllable. That's too far, I think. Plus, it results in an ugly sounding syllable. And to me it proves that they are trying to be chummy and intimate when we are really NOT (because, if they were truly an intimate of mine, they'd know how I feel about that first word--no one who really knows me has EVER tried to shorten "Talley"). So when it happens, I object. And then they don't call me "Tal" anymore, once they know.

That doesn't mean necessarily that I have "taken offense." But it does mean that I have a right to decide what my name is, and even what my nickname is.

And other people are obligated to abide by my wishes; not to do so is rude.

It is only when I know someone really well that I would think I have any right to start assigning them nicknames.

As I said on the other forum, I feel free to remove things like "_in_ga" or Jamie's "Montana" indicator (to me those feel almost like a last name--sort of like calling Elizabeth Jones "Elizabeth" instead of using her full name).

But even then, I'm cautious. Elizabeth10029 *might* have 10029 as her ZIP code, but maybe not, so I don't eliminate that very easily (for one thing, there are other Elizabeth's). Maybe her real name is Andrea, but Elizabeth10029 is the persona she's chosen to use here.

In real life AND online, I try to keep my ears (eyes) open for what other people use to address people. If I'm introduced to a new coworker as Elizabeth, and then I hear a couple of other people call her Liz, I might ask her what she prefers. Or I might venture to use Liz.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:54PM
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Thank you talley sue for explaning your view on name shortening! It will make me think twice before shortening anyones name in the future. Not that I won't do it, but I will think first! I never imagined it would be seen as anything that would make the person feel offended, since it is not the way I feel about it.

It is amazing how people think & feel differently about the same thing. I guess not so amazing when you figure we are all individuals and come from different backgrounds and places in life.

Thank you for expressing another view on it!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 3:14PM
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I'd rather be addressed by "Hey, you" than something that is not my name, LOL.

Shortening someone's screen name, especially if it's an enigma, really doesn't bother me that much, but my screen name is clear, and it is what I prefer. I'm not "sleeplessinaustin" for example. But if you can see an actual name, please use it, or don't use any name.

I also work with a Chilean woman who teaches Spanish and English as a second language. She persisted in calling me "Maria" for a full year, refusing to take ever more pointed hints and full corrections, until I had to flat out state "My name is MARY. I'm not Maria, I never will be, and I don't care if you think it makes your students more comfortable! It's not my name!"

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 7:12PM
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you assumed a knowledge of me, and an intimacy with me, that you cannot possibly have.

Oh my gosh, I cringe at the thought of the number of people I have offended over the years by misspelling or mispronouncing their given names, but an INTERNET SCREEN NAME???? Are you serious? This really scares the hell out of me. I know there is a segment of society who really get bent out of shape if not addressed by their formal given names, but this is beyond my comprehension.

My name is Denise, followed by a completely unspellable, unpronounable last name. For some reason, a surprising number of people IRL call me Diane. It happens so often, I just chuckle and let it happen. As for the last name, anything even close is OK with me. I have really low expectations.

Talley Sue NYC - I have a great deal of respect for you based on the many posts you have written on this site. You can fight the good battle IRL about what you must be called, but in cyberspace, I gotta say, I think you are in the minority - and possibly a minority of one. It is a made up name. Next week you could decide to be Cinderella NYC.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:09PM
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I feel entirely differently about name use here than I do in my real life. My name can be spelled two ways. One of my relatives...she has been married to my first cousin for 35 years...still spells it the other way, never having noticed that it's not my spelling. I let it isn't a hill I want to die on...and I think she is wonderful, and I admire her in many ways, but still, it tells me something about her.

My DH has one of those nice regular names that is almost always shortened, but he is called by his whole name, and when someone presumes to call him by one of the common short forms, it is a strange kind of reversal, you can tell right away that the person doesn't really know him.

But here, we all choose pen names, and keep our private lives private in this very public place. We can talk so intimately and openly here precisely because we don't really know each other, and can maintain our privacy while still enjoying a kind of cozy familiarity. For me, the abbreviations to have the same feeling as affectionate nick-names, and I like it.

It is said that women establish the desire to be close to each other by telling their stories. Could it be that in this forum, it is to easy for us to assume that our Garden Web identities have become close, and we feel more free to take liberties?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:23PM
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...maybe it comes with age, but one of my DD is married to an Anderson...every once in awhile I have to think is it...'sen or 'son? I even have to look it up sometimes!

Yes, I do think that we feel a closeness with members on a forum like this...although I find that I do the same thing in real life, for people I feel a closeness with.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 9:55PM
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Lena M

ya, well hey now, -sens are Danes, and -sons are Swedes, and where I come from in Minnesota mixing those up is taboo. (Kinda like not offering someone coffee three times, or accepting coffee on the second rather than the third offer).

I'm Lenam because Lena was taken. But I will answer to just about anything as long as the intent is friendly.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Wow...looks like I could mess up royaly on that one! I am learning every day on this forum!

Thank you for clueing me in on that one Lena/m !

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 10:31PM
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My baptized name is Kathleen, my nickname is Kitty.

If I had spent my entire life getting upset over people who have assumed my nickname is Kathy and then called me that, I'd have wasted an awful lot of my life.

Life's is way too short to get bent out of shape over something like a name, but especially a screen name.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 7:17AM
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Oh, Lenam (did I do that correcly? :P ) I am from MN too and know a great deal of Swedes and a handful of Danes!

graywings (Denise) I could have written your post word for word, literally, because I feel quite the same and coincidentally because my name is Denise too! Even though my screen name is Neesie many people post back to me as Nessie. I choose not to get bent out of shape over it. Life is much too short to take offense on such an insignificant matter. Maybe if I was the Queen or something my feathers would be ruffled!

Like you, I am referred to as Diane and probably more as Debbie in real life. I gently correct the person then, since we are face to face and are probably creating some kind of bond or tie.

Now in real life my husbands name is Dana. He just purchased a truck today and when they brought out the title they presented it to me and asked Dana to sign it. Then I realized since I am female they thought I was Dana. Neither one of us took offense. It has happened many times. Especially if they see my name on paper and confuse it with Dennis. I'm so glad neither one of us is tightly wound!!!! We each have a sense of humor and can laugh it off! Also, it comes in handy on the phone when I can tell people don't know my husband and are asking to leave a message for "her".

BTW, Nice to meet everyone!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 12:25PM
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Just wanted to chime in....graywings I so agree with everything you said! Some people are so touchy...

BTW names not *rose* but you can call me anything (almost) and I won't be offended.

It never occured to me to use the copy/paste option for the long names...good one!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 1:18PM
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Lena M

On -sens and NON-sens, *LOL*:

Wow...looks like I could mess up royaly on that one!

Don't worry too much about it, I think it is limited to a few people who are still peeved about the 1675 Scania War.
(And here we thought those Scandinavians were such sensible, peace-loving people.)

Hey Neesie, I left MN back in '85, but my heart never did.
I've settled in Wisconsin - gone south for the milder winters we like to joke.

Back OT on shortened screen names: I just read that Meryl Streep was born Mary Louise Streep.

-Lena/LenaM/whatever :-)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 5:55PM
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You can fight the good battle IRL about what you must be called, but in cyberspace, I gotta say, I think you are in the minority - and possibly a minority of one. It is a made up name. Next week you could decide to be Cinderella NYC.

In a way, you have proven my point. When someone states their name, that is the name you should use.

And my point is, if I started calling myself "Cinderella NYC," then people really should call me "Cinderella"--bcs that's the name I have given for people to call me by. "Cindy" wouldn't really be the same name.

For, my Internet name IS my name. And if bspofford signed her name "barbara" or used "barbara" as part of her screen name, it would not be polite to start calling her "Barbie" or "Babs" or *even* the seemingly innocuous "Barb."

I'm not majorly offended, my knickers are not in a twist.

But it annoys me to be called "Sue," and I maintain I have the right to tell people not to call me that. I let it go the first time. When it happened twice ina single post, it was clear that if I didn't say something, brugloverz9 was going to unknowingly annoy me every time she addressed me.

In a way, I owe it to her to SAY something. How else would she know?

And I agree w/ Mary--if it's clear the handle is a handle, then I think it's in a mildly different category.

But I still avoid shortening it. Bronwynsmom would probably object if I called her bronwyn. Even online, I think it's polite to call people by the name they have declared.

There's no need to have a *war* over it, and I hope I didn't imply that I was really steamed.

("Talley" has an "e" in it; I don't correct those sorts of typos. I don't object to being called TS. I just think shortening "Talley_Sue" to "Sue" is a HUGE leap.)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Just for the was not me who called talley_sue_nyc, just plain Sue x2 in the other post!

I just read it and wondered what others thought about shortening names!

When you responded to this post the first time and said "you" I thought you were just using a generic term. That is why I didn't correct you then.

This whole thing makes me hesitant to post on this forum anymore, although I would hate to stop as I am gaining so much useful information here.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 7:33PM
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brugloverz9--my sincere apologies. I got all confused w/ the handles, and I wasn't careful. I should have been--more so than most other people here.

And, I would hate for this issue to make people hesitant to post here. I've always tried hard to do what I can do keep this forum supportive and welcoming and warm.

I guess I shouldn't have said anything at all. I hesitated every time (on the other post where the issue first came up, and here, both times). I'll listen harder to that little voice, and NOT post, instead of trying to carefully say what I was thinking.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 8:21PM
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talley_sue_nyc...apologies accepted...thank you!

Maybe we should just drop the whole thing...I will try very hard to remember your preference on your name and it looks like just about everyone else including myself is O.K. with whatever I choose to call them.

You really are so knowledgeable and welcoming and supportive in all other areas. I would hate to think that you would have to do anything but express what you are feeling.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 9:34PM
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I want the kind and informative people who regularly post interesting questions and illuminating responses . . . you know I mean *you-all* without my mentioning any names (or nicknames;)) . . . that I, for one, welcome and greatly appreciate your presence and opinions!

I would be very sad and disappointed to find any of you missing from my morning HF reading. Its simply reassuring to know this *group* is here.

I've become aware that there are distinctive personalities on this board - some strong, some sweet - and that makes this board all the more valuable. The common mission we have is to better organize every part of our homes, lives, and selves from attic (where there is a light on) to basement (where angels fear to go). Work like that needs a variety of perspectives and talents of all sorts.

Three cheers for honest question, honest answers and the best of intentions; three cheers for threads like this one AND for keeping one's sense of humor!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 9:39PM
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Well, I still disagree with you, but as my friend says, that's why Baskin Robbins makes 31 flavors. :) If you want to be referred to by a specific moniker on the internet, one way to make people aware of your preference is to end your posts with it. For example, the poster Brushworks ends all of his posts with his given name, Michael.

I thought your given name was Sue, with Talley Sue being some take off of Tally-Ho. I have no idea how my mind came up with that.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:56AM
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But perhaps Michael *wants* to be called Michael instead of Brushworks.

Since I don't want to be called something else other than my handle, I don't end my posts with something else. That should say something in and of itself. Every post DOES express my preference.

Most people here have always called me Talley Sue. Now and then people don't, and if I think it's going to become a recurring thing, then I express my preference.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:56AM
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Well, since I'm the one that started all this by calling talley_sue_nyc just plain "Sue" not one but two times I guess I should add my two cents worth here. I've been busy all weekend with hubby catching up on things that we've not had time to do until now or I would have responded sooner.

I am sorry I assumed your real name was Sue. Funny how being nice can get you berated by someone when you were only trying to befriend them. I felt as though you didn't like me after my first reply on this forum. I was trying to be kind by calling you by name in hopes you'd see I wasn't whatever you may have thought I was by that first reply. Though I had, nor still have, any clue what I may have written that offended you at that time. And yet again I did something to upset you by using a name that wasn't yours. But it wasn't done on purpose or with vicious intent either.

I do feel since we can only read and not hear inflections in voices or see expressions on faces, that we should try to take the written word on forums as good intentioned unless there is no other way to see them. Even then we should choose the high road and be kind in return or make no comment at all. "The Thumper Rule rules."

I realize now, I shouldn't have tried to make a joke of it by asking someone to get out the popcorn. In rereading that sentense I can see where someone not in on that "joke" from another forum could have taken it wrong. I was hoping for laughter and light heartedness as we got on a thread about pet peeves in decorating on that forum last week.

To me, "Every day is a gift from God" and to waste it bickering about something as trivial (in the whole scheme of things) as a nickname, which I now read is a real name, seems so childish. But that's just the way I was brought up as a Christian in our home and at church. As we've seen on the news lately, not all preaching is kind to other's. Heartbreaking though it is. We all aren't taught to love one another. Or if we are, we don't take it heart in all aspects of our lives. But, I know my God forgives me. Now all I need to hear is that talley_sue_nyc does also.

So from now on, I'll just give organizing advise on my own website. Where all know me well enough to know I wouldn't intentionally hurt anything. Not even a bug found in my house. Even the creepy ones I catch and take outside. For they are God's creatures too.

By the way, my Daddy's name was Loyd. Not Lloyd. I don't know how many folks in my life told me I misspelled his name or if I spelled it to them they'd write it "Lloyd". I'd just smile and say"no, his name is spelled with just one "L"."

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 12:05PM
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I wasn't *ever* that upset. And I'm sorry if you felt berated. There really isn't anything to forgive you for; if anything, I'm probably in need of forgiveness for letting a momentary irritation become a big deal for everybody.

I'd hate to lose you on this site!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 12:38PM
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How about we put this to rest......


    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 11:58PM
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Before we wrap this up, I'd like to mention that when I first enrolled, I assumed that we were supposed to pick a user name that was sort of secret, so that people couldn't really figure out who you were. I've noticed, however, that some of you sign your names at the end of your messages. I really wouldn't have picked such a dopey name if I had realized it would be better to keep things simple. So I'll sign this as Dot, if and when I manage to reply to a post, or maybe even start one. Plow_In is really a good motto, though - it says to me that it doesn't matter where you start - just plow in and get going!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 10:33PM
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Your apology accepted, talley_sue_nyc. All is forgiven.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2008 at 10:34PM
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I just want to mention that my screen name routinely gets shortened to BM but do I complain?


AKA Eileen or Ei

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 3:18AM
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Eileen, we had a restaurant in my hometown that was run by Bill & Marilyn.

Its name was the B&M--but of course, it was called the BM.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Mine sometimes gets shortened to Happy or HL and I don't mind. It seems kind of friendly.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 1:31PM
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Just dont call me late for dinner!!!!

to me its a user name, I could care less if its shortened. If ya call me jon or cyn, Ill still answer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 9:26AM
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I like using whatever moniker people list, as long as it's quick and easy to type. Too many letters and numbers that don't "click" in my brain or long, drawn out names, stress me out when trying to remember and type them. I get them transposed too much of the time and worry about insulting the poster. That's why I'll always try and remember a person's given name, if they do post it. I imagine that this is the main reason why people try and shorten a poster's moniker, too.
Personally, I like just being called by my given name, Lynn, and in retrospect, wish I would have picked the simpler "LynnNM" instead of "Lynninnewmexico". I wish I could change it! Funny thing, though, I'm almost always referred to here as Lynne (with an "e") for some reason. It doesn't bother me a bit. I'm just thankful for the wonderful people on this forum with good advice, great pics and good (& forgiving!) senses of humor! And I'll try to call you whatever you prefer.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 12:00PM
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I thought we could change our user name by editing our profile, but I just saw that there is no such option. I did update it however...


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:56PM
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can't you rejoin the garden web with a new name and just tell everyone "AKA as ***** Just a thought....

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 7:22PM
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