On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 12 02:25:22 EST 2003

Rebecca wrote:

>Oberlin's old e-mail system assigned e-mail addresses as S(First 
>initial)(middle initial)(last initial)(4 random digits)@oberlin.edu. They 
>replaced initials that students didn't have with an 'x'.  The worst case 
>scenario of this that I saw (doing data entry) was a student whose last 
>name started with a 'y,' and was using, I believe Elizabeth as a chosen 
>Anglicization of her name and had no middle name.  Her e-mail username was 
>then sexy(random numbers).

Harvard's email system gives you the initials of all names up to your 
surname, and then as many letters as possible out of your surname up to a 
maximum of 8. This gave my roommate the very pretty sang at ... . But I had 
trouble convincing the computer society people that Bar was part of my 
surname, not a middle name, and that Gili was a middle name, not a nickname. 
At first I was given the address hillel at ..., which caused much confusion as 
Hillel happens to be the name of a major student organisation that was 
receiving all my mail... then I asked for gbarhill, and was flatly refused, 
some woman wrote me a snide response that "nicknames are unnacceptable". I 
ended up as abhillel, which is just wrong, but it stuck.

Gili Bar-Hillel
Tel-Aviv, tel.(03)5250014


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