An Analysis on Odd Usernames

By Electrolyte. Art by Electrolyte and Regime.
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Hello! My name is Electrolyte.

... but what's in a username? As any keen observer can infer, my name in real life is nowhere near "Electrolyte". Before you get sad because I'm not actually what plants crave, listen to this, as there is a silver lining. The string of letters next to every message I send on PS! does mean something—it defines who I want to show myself as on the Internet, and also gives people first impressions.

That second part is important, and will be the subject of this article. You can't really infer that much about me from my username, besides my interests (physics, right). However, some usernames can give off the wrong impressions, especially because many precedents and patterns of (low) quality have been set by users throughout the years. If you're a new user with an odd username, you might wonder why some people treat you differently than other new users. If there is no other distinguishing trait, it's probably because your username is something along the lines of EliteFourDiarrheaMan or as0987s0afd70.

As much as I support personal creativity, there are some usernames that you have to avoid if you want any decent amount of respect from the community. Here are some examples of what NOT to use:


The one word that has captured the attention of every supposedly brain-dead preteen of our generation. Just because you have it and want other people to know doesn't mean that you should be showing it off in your username—especially because you probably don't have "swag" if you think you do. However, this category isn't just restricted to the word "swag". Anything pointing to coolness or dominance is generally looked down upon, and gives an impression of immaturity and chaotic rebelliousness, brought on by raging and uncontrollable hormones. Here is an example.


The main questions that you always have to keep in mind are these: How do you want to present myself to others? Do you want to appear like a mature, knowledgeable, and interesting user? If you choose this kind of username, you definitely haven't considered those questions, or you've chosen to answer no. I'll be frank—not a single person using this website cares about your thirteen-year-old "swag". What this username suggests is that you either didn't have the mental capacity to choose something actually meaningful or that you just didn't care enough to do so. Either way, if you're looking to rise in the ranks or at least secure yourself some respect from others, drop the act and do something useful. Most of all, get rid of that dumb username.


While I would openly chastise a user with a "swag" type of username, for usernames with numbers, I would rather shake my head in pity. There is nothing wrong with numbered usernames, but over the years, a pattern of cluelessness has grown amongst users with this kind of username. That's because it's the go-to type for newer users. There are quite a few exceptions to this rule, however, which I will cover later. For now, here's an example of one of these numbered nicknames:


I'm sorry, but if you're using a Pokémon simulator, you're going to have to do better than that. Not even addressing your apparent obsession with this useless yellow rat, the placement and usage of the numbers tells me that you either didn't care enough to chose an original nickname OR that you are part of a cult and are the 12th P1kachuL0ver. It's even more annoying that you think that numbers can stand for letters, because that doesn't actually look cool and makes you look pretty immature. If you want people to respect you or at least not look down on you, you don't want to appear like any random noob off the street that still doesn't know what EVs or natures are.


Am I the type of strict, relentless moderator that bans for even gray area bad words like "dumb" and "retarded"? No, but I should be. This is the internet, not a gangster alleyway. We're all nerds. If you want my respect, solve a Calculus equation or invent Instant Noodle versions of other food, like pizza. Walking around with cuss words in your username isn't going to make you appear at all knowledgeable or welcoming. These are the kinds of "baddie" usernames that ten-year-olds fling around on their Xbox One and get their mouths rinsed with soap for. Things like fuck or hell, or whatever is hip right now; new ones get invented like every year. Anyway, if you're ten, then cover your eyes, for this is going to get dirty.


It doesn't take an Einstein to figure out what this really means. If your parents saw you using this username, let's just say you'd be defecating bubbles for weeks from all the soap you'd have to wash your mouth with. This kind of username is extremely annoying; I actually have to put thought and judgement into deciding whether or not to punish you, and God forsake the PS! staff grows a brain and starts making judgmental decisions besides being automated ban-happy robots. Regular users won't like you much either. I get enough PM complaints about usernames that "toe the line" that I feel like my "naughty or nice" list is longer than Santa's. What is even the point of this kind of username? Last time I checked, sucking cocks wasn't something worthy of being proud of anyway, much less worth bragging about and showcasing college-application style on your Showdown username. It's even funnier if you remember that this is a Pokémon website—nerds like us are the last people that'd care about your sexual activity. These kinds of usernames really put the bad in "badass".


This is the moment when you look at me with those puppy eyes and ask, "what's wrong with heartsiessss??" Take the duck face away, Smeagol, this is a Pokémon website. It's okay that you want to be nice, but being overly inviting is often awkward, just like pushing for third base before even touching first. Usernames like these also imply immaturity and naïveté. When you get to know people, it's totally fine to start throwing hearts around, but the last person people want to talk to is that one users whose ♥'s stretch for 36 characters, clogging up the chat.


I'll be honest, I often want to treat users with these kinds of usernames like four-year-old girls, because that kind of maturity is literally what this username implies. I wouldn't pity you or be annoyed, but I wouldn't trust you with anything important. These are the kinds of users that you put on your smiley face for, pat once just for show, and then continue on, actually indifferent the whole time. "Do I need to show you how to find a battle?" "Do you need me to show you how to use /data commands, honey?" "Do you want me to show you where the bathroom is?" Either that, or you're a 44‑year‑old internet stalker intent on getting pictures of other little girls you're pretending to be. *cough* It's also the perfect disguise to lower your opponent's expectations while you ruthlessly sweep them with a Power Trick Shuckle!

When the two impressions that your username gives are either that of a four-year-old girl or that of a forty-four-year old stalker, it's definitely time to find something better.


Alright, you got me. There are some very well-known exceptions to the second and fourth rule. Some of Smogon's most prestigious Administrators had usernames with numbers in them. Other PS! staff members also frequently talk in ♥ spe♥k. These users have overcome the stereotype with quality work and have deserved their positions. That said, these are exceptions, and not the rule.

The most important thing to remember is that first impressions go a long way. I'd more readily initially befriend some with a regular username than a future Administrator with a username like "SockCucker". Your username presents an image in other people's minds about the kind of person that you are, so make sure that it doesn't give the wrong kind of impression!

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