Name Calling

Once upon a time it was possible to function in society using your proper name. A first name, a middle name (optional) and of course a last name identified you. If legal or illegal conditions warranted it, an alias came in handy to conceal one's real name. The elite and famous could afford a pseudonym instead of an alias. Those lucky enough to attain literary notoriety could opt for a pen name or if they wanted to feed their ego, a nom de plume did the trick.  Among friends, a nickname was common.

Enter the internet, and name calling became much more complicated. Servers fora person's  favorite web sites had a problem with name recognition i.e. a  proper name, pen name, alias or even the lofty nom de plume. In order to gain access to a computer system, computer network, or online account,  a  unique sequence of characters used to identify a user was required. The result was a username, which together with a password gained the user megabytes of information and more social interaction than he needed. At last the individual had a choice as to how he wanted to be identified. Neither was he restricted to one name. Multiple usernames challenging the user's memory bank were the vogue. A user's imagination could run wild as long as the rules as to the number and type of characters were observed. Oh, I should mention that the rules also permited an address as a username (assuming the server gave its permission). Not a postal address but an Email address. 
Again, the Internet gave birth to the phenomenon of Email addresses. As with usernames, an individual can have more than one Email address. Its like having a condo in Florida in order to survive frigid winters in the North. Email, like the postal service snail mail can also be infected with junk mail but unlike the postal service, Email providers can filter out the junk mail.
A name to be avoided

Now that I may have established that a name is not as sacred as it once was, let me unleash the coup d'etat. As far as identity goes, in addition to that established by a  birth certificate or the Internet, there is that established by what right wingers derisively refer to as an entitlement program. From the moment of birth we aquire a social security number. We are all numbers. Being a number isn't so bad as long as it is not the result of being convicted of a crime and incarcerated. 

Lest I forget, some of us are unfortunate enough to earn derogatory names such as SOB, Asshole, Prick or  Jerk. Little importance should be attached to this since a rose by any other name smells as sweet.

To make a short story shorter,  a name can be a word or a number or a combination of words and numbers by which a person is known. It can get very confusing in conducting our day to day affairs but it should not be a cause for concern. Remember the old saying: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me."

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