Strange things happen when you let people choose their own name, part 2

Raymond Chen

I described last time how most parts of your entry in the company address book are closely regulated, but the differentiator is left to the honor system. Here are two and a half more examples of people who decided to do something funny with their bonus text.

A message was sent to a mailing list I happen to be a member of, and the sender’s name was listed as “John Doe (O|||||O)”. I told John that I though the (O|||||O) was hilarious, and he wrote back, “Also, call my phone and listen to how the autobot says my name.”

I did, of course. The text to speech synthesizer pronounced his name as John Doe overtical bracket vertical bracket vertical bracketo.

Number two: Lee Holmes, PowerShell blogger extraordinaire, uses as his differentiator a PowerShell prompt. He shows up in the address book as “Lee Holmes (PS C:\> _)”. Oh, and wait, it’s fancier than that. The underscore blinks, albeit at a glacial rate: Every so often, Lee removes the underscore from the differentiator or adds it back.

And here’s the half: Robert Hensing changed his name in the address book to Robert Hensing (EL CONQUISTADOR) (not to be confused with the shoe). This is only half of an example because I’m not going to tell you why he chose “EL CONQUISTADOR” to go after his name. I’ll leave the story for him to tell (if he feels so inclined).


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