Worlds & Time

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A Naming

Just looking back over some of the pages at a website that I post at and moderate, I was thinking about my own name. I don't give it out almost ever, although the moderators there and a few select people either know it or can find it out. Online I don't respond to it at all, and even if people were to find it (and there are a few tricks for that), it wouldn't be who I was.

I don't think anyone online who knows me knows my last name, but it's probably possible to find that sort of thing out, I just don't know how.

In real life, I go by my legal name, or at least the abbreviation of it.

Still, that isn't really my name in the fullest extent of the word. What I call myself is something else again, something that has occasionally made rounds as my password because I simply don't share it with anyone.

Who I am is not really related to the name. For here, it's what you associate with "Spherical Time" that's important to me, not the name itself. I may be crazy, loud, and occasionally contradictory, and that's who I am. That means more to me that the name does.

So, what do I like to be called? I like to be called by my friends . . . of course.

That probably doesn't make any sense, especially with the humorous twist, but I like being called Ben by my friends, and I dislike being called Ben by people that don't know me or aren't my friends. There's a guy on another website that I frequent that troll because he thought homosexuality was a sin and that telling people that they're going to hell was a productive use of his time and he would say "Hi *insert screen name here*" at the beginning of every post and "Peace" at the end. He used to drive me nuts, and I couldn't explain why for a long time.

Eventually, I figured out that it was because his use of my name in that context presumed a level of familiarity beyond what we actually shared. I thought that it was rude to make assumptions about the status of your relationship with other people, and I still do.

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