Last night I signed up for YouTube, and posted a video there for the first time ever. (Can you blame me?) When I went to sign up, and selected my user name, I got a message saying that the user name was already taken. My first thought was that I must have already signed up for YouTube, and just forgotten about it. So I tried my various passwords. No go. So maybe I used a different password that I’ve forgotten about. So I hit the button for “forgot password,” and got the message that an email with my password would be sent to my email address. So I waited. For my email. No email. NO EMAIL!

Do you realize what this means? Somebody out there signed up for a YouTube account with my name. MY NAME! Mine! For the first time ever, and I mean ever, I was faced with having to make a second choice. It was a bit of a shock. I ended up choosing alejna99. In part because I’m amused by the idea of having 99 alejnas signing up before me.

26 thoughts on “used

  1. Sure, Alejna, but we all know that things trying to look like things often look more like things than things.

  2. You’re hilarious.

    I don’t have an uncommon first name, but it’s not popular, either. I got quite a shock when I searched for my name on facebook and there were something on the order of 50 people with my first and last name. It feels a little, oh, like three other people chose the same dress to wear to prom (which did NOT happen to me, but did happen to a friend of mine).

  3. FWIW, Alejna who is the blogger behind this blog, you’re the first — and, to date, only — person named Alejna that I’ve come across! :)

  4. Names aside, what a gorgeous video! Congratulations!!!!!

    –The six zillionth Elizabeth Thompson in the world

  5. Alejnas-
    You are all frauds. Frauds, I say!

    50 people with your name. Those imposters! (And as for the hilariousness, I must share the credit with the author of those first 7 comments. Who I’m pretty sure is not named Alejna. And I’m pretty sure is one person. Who knew what time I went to bed last night.)

    Good to know! It’s always nice to come in first for something. Why, you are the first YTSL I’ve met, too!

    Wait, which one are you? I thought you were Elizabeth Thompson number 548,304,981. Am I mixing you up with someone else? (And thanks!)

  6. Hi again Alejna —

    Heheheh, nice to know that I’m the first YTSL you’ve met. Also, that you can keep my initials straight. And if you’re wondering, I’ve encountered plenty of YSLs and TSLs around. A couple of e.g.s of YSLs: Yves Saint Laurent (of course) but also Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh’s character in CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON). ;b

  7. I wonder how many Jangaris you know?
    Pseudonyms aside, I have a rather uncommon first name (I ain’t telling ya what it is) but recently it has been climbing the charts for popular baby names. In fact I often hear people yelling to their children, who have the same name as me. I’m reminded of the Simpsons episode when they went to Itchy and Scratchy land:

    Bart was looking for a ‘Bart’ license plate, finding only ‘Bort’. Then a lady at the counter tells her kid to ‘come along, ‘Bort’, in response to which a store-person turns around and asks ‘are you talking to me?’ ‘Excuse me’, she retorts with upturned nose, ‘My son is also called Bort’. And, Later on, in the control room of Itchy and Scratchy land, a guy is yelling into a two-way radio ‘We need more ‘Bort’ license plates in the gift shop. Repeat, we are out of ‘Bort’ license plates’.

    Sorry about that. I got carried away.

    One last comment though, I was lucky enough recently to acquire an email address with my university, that was just my own name with no numbers nor parts of my surname, which I think is very fortuitous. Apparently I am the only ***** at Sydney University.

  8. Ha ha, that’s rather close, but not for the right reason.

    Bruce fell from fashion years ago, and it’s popularity can should only be falling.

    I shall stop there, before revealing just how close you came.

  9. Ha! BRYCE. Cat’s outta the bag!

    Well, ALEJNA, if it makes you feel any better, my maiden name is the most common name in the world.

    Like, I’m number 3 billion and two.

  10. YTSL-
    Do you have trouble with folks scrambling your initials, then? (I get lot o’ misspellings of my name.) YSL seems like an OK set to end up with. I like the Crouching Tiger connection.

    How many Jaŋaris? Wait, let me count. Well, there was that one that…and then the other that…and um…your the only one I’ve met. Glad you could get your (other) name for an email address. I may have to go around claiming my name for places like yahoo, gmail, and anything else I can think of before those imposters grab it. (I usually use my first initial last name for things, but have decided to go all first-namy for the blog thing. But I guess as I’ve left a comment on your WP blog, you can see what my last name is…)

    If that is your real name. How do you pronounce that?

    Yes, I do feel better. There are probably fewer than 3 billion and 1 Alejna’s out there. So, ha!

  11. Bryce? Come on, you couldn’t be more wrong!

    Alejna, if you went to the top-end of Australia for a little while, chances are you’d meet a lot of Aboriginal men who have Jangari as their skin name. This relates to the potentially-many-mothers-in-law thing we got into a few posts back. Each and every one of them is my brother.

    Hmm, I forgot about the whole wordpress recording email addresses and IPs, well, you could probably intuit my name from that (but don’t).

  12. Jaŋari-
    Yes, it’s true that I may already have been able to”intuit” your other name. But I will pretend that it was just a random assortment of letters, and will erase them from my memory out of politeness. Sort of like if you accidentally see someone’s password typed in.

    Interesting about all of those Jaŋaris up there at the top of Australia. Could you educate me about this “skin name” business? I saw on your blog “about” page that your skin name was given to you during your field research. Do you have a post on the subject?

    Also, I must know. Is the J of Jaŋari an IPA [j]?

  13. It will appear very complicated from the outset, Alejna, but the system is remarkably logical and mathematically simple. In the last few comments on this post from a few days ago, there was a bit of discussion about it, but only specifics. I don’t have a post on it, I’m afraid, I was going to write a page, but I don’t know enough about the system to do it justice. But I’ll give it a go here.

    The system basically determines your relationship with all other people, whom you marry, whom you are categorically not allowed to marry, and so on (those two are pretty much the backbone of it). There are 8 main groups, but the terms for women start with a different letter than the male terms, so we say there are 16 skins. I am Jangari and my sister is Nangari. Men, each successive generation, go back and forth between pairs of skin. The father, and indeed the son, of Jangari is Janama, so any given male has the same skin as his grandfather. Successive generations of females though, cycle through four skins before arriving back at a starting point. So any given woman has the same skin as her great-great-grandmother.

    Now, it determines who marries whom, and also who is in an avoidance relationship (mothers-in-law are particularly avoidable, tee hee). If I meet someone who is a Jambijin, then he is the brother of Nambijin, which is the skin name of the person that I, as Jangari man, should marry. Also, if I meet a nangari woman, then she is my classificatory¹ sister and I have to observe some very strict rules, which may differ from place to place. I may not be able to drink from the same cup, or be in the same room alone with her, for instance.

    ¹We use the term ‘classificatory’ to make it clear that we’re talking about ‘sister-by-skin-name’ and not biological sister, but in Aboriginal Australia, the distinction is blurry; they have the same name.

    Far out, I hope this is somewhat understandable. As it’s so unlike anything else in the world, as far as I know, it’s really hard to explain in a satisfactory way.

    Also, no. Not IPA [j]. I don’t have the IPA symbol available to me, it isn’t quite an affricate, it’s really just a palatal stop, but since we have no palatal stops in English, it sounds like J.

  14. Hi again Alejna —

    Have got at least one person regularly scrambling my initials — though this is because, she recently revealed, she’s dyslexic… ;S

  15. Jaŋari-
    Wow, thanks for that detailed reply. How beautifully complicated a system, and yet, as you say, so logical. How intersting that taboos about marriage have been built in to the language. And I have also not come across anything else like it. (I keep meaning to read through your tail-wagging post, and the many comments there. My brain was too tired for syntax last time I visited it…as soon as you mentione “absolutive case” my eyes went all zombie-like.) And as far as the J goes, good to know. My own j, by the way, is actually [j].

    Yes, I can see how that would happen.

  16. Yeah, you need some kind of system when the average pre-contact community consisted of maybe two of three distinct families and generally no more than 150 people, otherwise marriage between too closely-related people becomes probable.

    I didn’t think it’d be the affricate ‘j’, that’d be way too hard to articulate.

  17. Jangari/Jaŋari-
    …otherwise marriage between too closely-related people becomes probable.
    This makes me think of the unfortunate societies where a first cousin was considered an “eligible match.” (Have you seen/read “The Importance of Being Earnest”?)

    I didn’t think it’d be the affricate ‘j’, that’d be way too hard to articulate.
    Ah, if only more thought this way perhaps my childhood would have been less traumatic. I still have friends who deliberately use the affricate just to taunt me.

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