I received an e-mail today with a subject line of "Fw: adoption form." My first instinct was to panic that someone had somehow filled out an adoption form on our behalf... and as a side note, would that be the most presumptuous thing ever, or what? Anyway, I was quickly corrected when I opened the e-mail and noticed that it was addressed to (surprise!) firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because I'm nosy (and because hey, it came to my e-mail!), I decided to read the exchange. I was (pathetically) excited that I was going to learn more about my namesake, and as I read on, I realized that she had filled out an adoption form request for a Greyhound (dog). Not only that, but in the application, she had gone into detail about her age, living situation, job, etc.
I started to feel like a stalker (crazy, right?), so I scrolled to the top in order to respond to the person to tell them they had the wrong Amanda Joiner. However, upon doing so, I learned that this e-mail was actually intended for someone named Amanda Joner. Yes. I'm serious.
Apparently her e-mail address is email@example.com, but the person responding to her mistyped it. So Amanda.Joiner, if you're reading this, I'm sorry that I robbed you of the opportunity to learn so much about Amanda Joner. It was a heartwarming story, really.
The good news is that I quickly responded to the Greyhound adoption organization and informed them of the error. The other good news is that the organization said that there were plenty of wonderful Greyhounds available for Amanda Joner to adopt. I know- what a relief!
What was most interesting, however, is that when I clicked back into the original e-mail, I saw that in the "to" line of the e-mail, next to "firstname.lastname@example.org," there was a little gmail link that said "(Yes, this is you.) Learn more."
First of all, gmail, quit acting like such a know-it-all, because no, this is NOT me (times two, for that matter, because I'm not the other Amanda Joiner OR Amanda Joner!). So anyway, when I clicked on it, it took me to a help page entitled "Receiving someone else's mail."
And believe it or not, the first option on this page was: Your address is similar but has more or fewer dots (.) or different capitalization. DING DING DING! We have a winner! Or so I thought, but then I read on:
- email@example.com = firstname.lastname@example.org
- email@example.com = HOMERJSIMPSON@gmail.com
- firstname.lastname@example.org = Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com
Sometimes you may receive a message sent to an address that looks like yours but has a different number or arrangement of periods. While we know it might be unnerving if you think someone else's mail is being routed to your account, don't worry: both of these addresses are yours.
Gmail doesn't recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they'll all go to your inbox, and only yours. In short:
All these addresses belong to the same person. You can see this if you try to sign in with your username, but adding or removing a dot from it. You'll still go to your account.
If you get mail that seems to be intended for someone else, it's likely that the sender entered the wrong address, just like if you've ever dialed a wrong phone number for someone. In these cases, we suggest contacting the original sender or website when possible to alert them to the mistake.
One last thing: Google Apps does recognize dots. If you'd like to have a dot in your username, please ask your domain administrator to add your preferred username as a nickname.
The first thing I have to say about this is, Homer Simpson? Really? That's the most universally recognizable name you could come up with as an example? Clever, but strange.
However, the more important issue is that apparently the other Amanda Joiner's e-mail address is not, in fact, email@example.com. My only assumption is that it has an extra number or something in there, and her friends (as well as Glamour and ESPN magazines) are just not excellent readers. Either that or she has a typo problem.
Regardless, the bottom line is that either way, I am stuck receiving her e-mails. And apparently if I'm really lucky, I'm stuck with Amanda Joner's e-mails too. So I guess it's safe to say that as long as you're reading this blog, you all are stuck reading about their lives for the unforeseeable future as well... enjoy! :)