Friday, April 9, 2010

The Silly Name I Use For This Blog

I started this blog a few years ago and I always pick faintly pretentious names to represent me on the internet. Whenever I pick them I choose something that sounds like a name, and follows fantasy-writing naming conventions. It's an old habit, and despite my desire for web presence and the fact that I've even sent my mother the link to this blog (because, really, it's not like I post anything I wouldn't mind sharing with the universe), I still use made up names for pseudo-anonymity.

Anyone who knows me in real life - or anyone who cleverly delves through the internets to find out my secret identity - already knows my name. For everyone else, I'm comfortable responding to Alii.

That said, I pulled the name out of thin air. Supposedly nonsense, 'Alii' was to be a handle for a niche website and was never intended to creep into the internet at large. The reason I kept it is that the word alii means lady (more or less) in the Hawaiian language and there is meaning beyond just my own attributions. I used the name for long enough to attach it to a representational avatar rather than leaving it a one-shot name. It stuck, and when I wandered to write a blog it was my main handle at the time.

I've become rather fond of it, though I often wince that it uses two 'ii's, even though that's how the word is spelled. It's a 'weird' letter combination and while I like the name, it does not mark itself as non-European enough to explain the combo. Subsequently, I look like a goofball because it appears to use RavynSparklePryncess spelling, even though it is simply a not a Latin/Roman title. There is also a 50% chance that the first 'i' will be an 'l' when others spell it, despite not being a shortening of Allison. People's brains are marvelous things and that's what people expect.

Silverwing, however, is just silly. It's very dragony, used on New Age, dragon, and floofier forums, and a simple google search will turn up a young-adult series, several types of vehicles, a server on WoW and any number of other things. There's nothing to recommend using it. 'Silverwing' is very common while 'Alii' is not.

Perhaps that's part of the allure. I'm one of many Silverwings. My last name - the offline one - is long, somewhat complicated, and I can probably count on fingers-and-toes how many of us use it in the US. Distinctive, sure, but difficult to pronounce, consistently butchered in pronunciation and spelling, and generally bothersome in other respects. In some ways, saying, "Hey, I like dragons. Mmmm. I think I'll use the name Silverwing," shows that I consider my online stomping grounds a simpler place. The name is random, silly (Very silly!), and I didn't worry too much about it when I shoved it into the blog creation engine where it spat out my new url.

I can, however, change it. Unfortunately, despite the ability, it means that the address I've been using for several years will no longer work, which is a problem. As soon as I can figure that one out, I'll most likely change the url for this blog, and possibly eliminate 'Silverwing' from the name I use here altogether.

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