Sunday, February 10, 2008

In-The-Field Manual 1: Emails

And Now, a Simon FitzKit In-The-Field Manual...

E-Mail Addresses:
Several Varieties That Just Do NetWork For Me

In the olden days of radio, television and Commodore 64 computers, there were only two modes of personal communication: telephones and letters.

This is not to say that talking face to face, HAM operating, Morse code, smoke signals, flashlight-blinking, drawing The Dancing Men, using Navajos in wartime, and body language were not around, per's just that for purposes of simplicity, this reporter will not be counting them as 'modes' of communication, but rather as 'medians'. A fine distinction that all lovers of mathematics are sure to appreciate. Tangent complete.

Both telephonics and epistulature allowed for decent-sized messages to be delivered from sender to recipient in a fairly timely manner, and this was due to one thing and one thing only:


When you found yourself wanting to contact a business associate of personal acquaintance via telephone, you simply rotary-spun their seven uniquely-stringed digits and added three more if they lived in some distant mecca like Chatanooga or Newport News.

And when you put your feet up on the desk and dictated to Miss Maxwell a four-page editorial that the Post never printed --much to the paper and the general public's loss-- you made sure she typed out an envelope with FIRST LINE: Name, SECOND LINE: Street, and THIRD LINE: City, State and Zip Code...possibly adding a fourth line if the letter was to be Attention of a particular individual.

However, today, the youths use "E-Mail."

Short for "Electronic Mailing System Using Computers Instead Of A Postal Service," E-Mails were created to make communication speedier and more readily available for perusal. However, somewhere along the way, people... got Stupid.

Take a look at these examples:

Obviously, 'unicornwomyn' and 'unicornwomon' had already been taken. And while it may be more genderally acceptable to spell 'womyn' with a 'y' instead of an 'a', there can be little argument that horses with a horn in their foreheads don't normally try to buck patriarchal oppression. People aren't going to easily understand your wacky alternative spelling any more than they do your wacky alternative lifestyle, so if your first choice was taken, change words, not letters.

Same thing to you, sir, with an added warning. Deleting letters is as confusing as changing them, and your choice of words makes contacting you that much more difficult. "Yes, please do E-Mail me, prospective employer. My E-Mail address is shit-kicker...only leave out all the netscape dot com. What's your E-Ma... oh I shouldn't E-Mail you, you'll E-Mail me? Oh. Oh, right then. Good afternoon."

Now, this young man went with the usually valid and admirable tack of making his E-Mail his name. However, he got a little carried away with himself... as it were. 'henrymarchester' would have been fine. So too would have been 'henry.marchester' or 'henry_marchester' or if that hyphenated last name is so important, go with just 'forrest-marchester'...but the full-on johnjacobjingleheimerschmidt treatment is a trifle too much. Just think of the poor PTA member who compiles the school's E-Mail list into a handy booklet. Think of how hard she has to work to format those columns to fit on one page-width. Think of how it takes more time to write your E-Mail than it takes most people to write the alphabet. Think on that, Henry Richard Forrest-Marchester...Think.

Too long. No clever phrase is worth the annoyance of typing it out over and over every time you have other things to talk about. Save that kind of witty one-liner for use as the case-sensitive password to your first apartment's Wi-Fi connection. Or, alternatively, learn embroidery and make yourself another be-sentenced pillow for your drawing room.

Hey! Brighteyes! Learn to spell. Meanwhile, your doppleganger over at '' has been spamfiltering all your party E-Vites...or has she been...accepting them? Om-in-ous-Chord!

Trust me on this, it's not worth it to only be the 494th person at to want to be contacted via 'bulbasaur.' Regardless of how kicking and radical his vine-whip attack may be, your friends aren't going to remember what number ticket you pulled in the E-Mail queue. If you've got so little fear of public humiliation, why not 'iambulbasaur' or 'hugabulbasaur' or 'bulbabulba'... or even 'istillwatchpokemon'. All equally pathetic but infinitely easier to recall.

No. You're not Angelina Jolie, and you're not going to trick me again. NEXT.

Now, this wasn't young AR's fault. It's the school's idiocy. "Want to email your classmates? All you need to know are their first and last initials...and a random 6-digit sequence." Plans are probably in the works to make these emails more readily available and more easily attributable to their owners, but that road, unfortunately, leads to bar-code tattoo parlors.

This reporter sees what you did there. "Scrambled 'EGGS' in 'BACON'"...scrambled eggs and bacon. Very clever. It's short, sweet, and at This reporter is all for it...except for the anagramming of EGGS into gobblety-gook. For you see, you can't tell people what your E-Mail address is. "It's scrambled EGGS 'n BACON at gmail dot com"? No. That gives away your joke, and your doppleganger over at will steal all your friends. "Anagram EGGS and put it inside BACON"? Too vague. "Anagram EGGS and put it after the 'a' in BACON"? We still don't know what gibberish anagram of EGGS to use. "Bahs-gehg-cohn"? That's the most promising route, but try saying it aloud and imagine having to transcribe it.

Oh, prattle. Now this reporter's just needlessly nitpicking; is possible the most bully E-Mail considered to date. Way to go, Basgegcon, you've won my admiration, and the official Simon FitzKit Piranha Trophy!

Until next time, this is Simon FitzKit...IN THE FIELD!

1 comment:

Ted said...

Oo! There's a Simon FitzKit trophy??? SWEET!

(BTW, no lie...the word verification I have to type in for this comment is "tedyh"...that's ME! I guess this means I should change my email address to