Is There Food?

by Daniel Woolstencroft

Saying your email address over the phone

While reading Shawn Blanc’s site, I found this link to Matthias McGregor’s post on telling people your email address.

This is precisely the reason I registered a domain short enough to give out easily. Having a surname like Woolstencroft makes for not only long addresses, but you also have to spell the surname to people at the same time. I ended up going for a domain based on my initials (DTW) but probably made two mistakes:

  • repeating the initials confuses people - so dtw@dtw throws people off, because they expect x@y instead of y@y.

  • using an less common suffix confuses people - .com and are things people are quite familiar with these days. Something like or is not.

Another thing I got into a habit of doing is changing the front part of the address depending on what or who I’m giving the address to. So if I’m signing up for a WordPress mailing list, for example, I’d use That way if you start getting spam, you can see who shared your address because they’re all unique. I’m starting to think that’s possibly overkill these days, but it’s an old habit now.

I’d highly recommend thinking this through if you’re signing up for, or getting cheesed off with, a long email address. Bear in mind who you’re giving it out to, and how often, and you might save yourself some time and frustration by shortening it.