What's in a name? How important are the user names for you?

There are different kinds of user names:

1. Real or fake first names

2. Real or fake full names

3. Real or invented words

4. Punctuation marks

5. Sentences

The majority of names are written with Roman letters but many are also written in other scripts, so that users who don't know these scripts can't read the names.

Do you judge a user by their name? Does it influence your decision to accept that person as a language exchange partner?

Apr 18, 2019 1:21 PM
Comments · 33
Interesting question, Miriam. No, I don't think the user name influences me. On the other hand, profile photos do. Maybe it's my age, but personally I am turned off when someone -- man or woman -- uses a profile photo showing a lot of bare skin. It makes me question their judgment, if not their intentions. I have to restrain myself from sending a message saying "Put a shirt on!"  Yeah, it must be my age. 
April 18, 2019
For me, it is Important because the name Troglodyte is so-deep in itself. 
April 18, 2019
For me it's absolutely ok if someone wants to be called Terminator or Fluffy Bon-Bon here on italki as long as his/her goal is learning languages.
But the thing that bothers me greatly is fake personalities. When some "Ed from Canada" sends me a friend request, and just within a couple of moments it becomes obvious that he is not a native English speaker (I still don't get why it's so shameful (?!) to choose your real first language) and he is interested in nothing but flirting, it's sooo frustrating and discouraging.
April 18, 2019

@Miriam:  I'm not a fan of punctuation marks

Usernames full of punctuation?

Yeah, they're the worst.

April 18, 2019
There is very little else to judge people on here, so yeah, I absolutely will form an initial impression (a “working theory”, if you will) based on a person’s user name. As far as “fake” names (which people choose for themselves), they actually give us far more useful information than a “real” name that is assigned at birth by people you’ve just me (your parents). And yes, as Miriam and Anastasia have suggested, overly generic English full names are extremely suspicious. Most people are too cautious to put their real full name on public social media sites, so a “Tom Jones” (for example) is likely a scammer. Also, a real American (or Canadian) would never think of calling himself “Ed from Canada” — why on earth would he call himself that? Note: There are always exceptions, so we need to look at the full picture. For example, I have a very high degree of confidence that a certain user who uses his first and last name is not a scammer, and that he is a real, motivated language learner. This is based on his many public comments and posts.

April 18, 2019
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