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Things that make you go Hmmmmm?

January 8, 2008
Posted at 1:49 pm

A funny thing happened. Or a sad one, depending on how you look at it. I got the following email, paraphrased for you in this blog entry:

Hi Bob.
I lost your email address. Would you please respond to this message so I can get it again? I want to put you on my jokes list.

George (not his real name)

Now that's funny, on the face of it. I mean how do you send somebody an email if you don't have their address?

But the funniest part was that the sender's email address was: Anonymous

You see, SOL allows you to send anonymous email. Some authors don't accept anonymous email. I don't like it myself, but only because I can't reply to it. I've always believed that if somebody took the time to say something to me, it's only polite to say something back.

You can't do that if they write to you anonymously, however.

And why would somebody choose to write anonymously, and then put their name at the end? Of course there are lots of Georges (not his real name) in the world, so that's fairly anonymous too.

I suppose if you had a name like Condolezza, or Nit, or something completely goofy, like Lubrican, you might be worried that that author might actually be able to find you, but if you actually want them to write back... well, using the anonymous feature isn't really the way to go.

Besides, it makes me look stupid sometimes. I have a penchant for hitting "reply" pretty automatically, and then writing and hitting "send" pretty automatically too. When I do that in response to an anonymous email, I get this cute little automated response from SOL that says - and I'm paraphrasing again here -

"You're a fucking idiot! Anonymous means anonymous! You have wasted perfectly good bandwidth by sending a message that didn't go anywhere."

It only takes getting five or six of those before you start feeling your age which, in my case, is over "occasional forgetfulness" and under "drooling dementia".

Ok, a couple of dozen, but that's not important. Only Lazeez, the SOL Supreme Commander, knows about them anyway.

So, for all you folks who write to me anonymously, don't be really surprised when I don't respond. Just know that I read your mail, am happy to get it (usually) and would have said "Thanks" in a reply if I had that option.

Thanks for reading.

And thanks for writing, even if it's anonyously.