Sunday, November 15, 2009

By any other name

Every few days, I spend half an hour or so welcoming newcomers to Ravelry. I've been a volunteer on the Ravelry Welcome Wagon for almost two years. The job involves sending personalized messages to everyone who has joined the site in the last few days -- in my case, everyone who chose a username beginning with G. (That's how the Wagoneers divide up labor.)

As I go through the list, I type a lot of names into my personalized message. And it's interesting what people choose to represent themselves. Since I welcome the G names, I see a lot of variations on Grandma (g-ma, granny, gran, etc.), often with a name or a number of grandchildren attached. I see many usernames that start with "girl" or "grrl."

Names run in cycles, of course. Not many people my age and younger have my name; it seems to have been popular in the generation just previous to mine. I watch popular names come and go as cohorts of students arrive in my classes. Monica was popular eighteen years ago, and Ashley has been big for half a decade now.

My name is dear to me because it's based on my father's name. I use some form of it as my username on most sites -- but not on Ravelry. When I got my invitation (you needed one back then), I spent several agonizing minutes trying to figure out the perfect username to present myself to my fellow knitters. I finally settled on my favorite fictional character. And I've tremendously enjoyed answering to that name.

What name would you choose if you could? What name do you choose when you have the chance?

1 comment:

Doc Thelma said...

I'll admit I enjoy answering to "Thelma." It goes back to my Superguy writing days.