Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, March 09, 2007

DIY FAQ: Noms de Guerre/Nombres de la Guerra

A faithful reader suggested I provide a tutorial on creating your own "nom de blog" -- I like calling them "nom de guerre" (name of war) even more than "nom de plume" (pen name)-- but maybe it should be "nombre de la guerra" in my case. provides some great examples of anonymity among writers: "Famous examples in literature are George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), O. Henry (William Sydney Porter), Stendhal (Marie Henri Beyle), and George Sand (Mme Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin, baronne Dudevant)".

You can have your very own and not worry about getting a Blogger ID, setting up an anonymous email or whatnot....simply click on "Other" when you are making a comment and type in another name. I noticed the other day that someone called themselves "Marty Bishop" during the discussion about IP addresses -- if you have ever seen the 1990s movie "Sneakers" you would know that Robert Redford played that role and this was a fun reference to the movie and the subject matter.

There is a space for you to put your web page location but this is totally optional -- the name will turn out blue in the comment area if it has a link and black if it doesn't -- it isn't necessary to make a comment.

I'd love to see some creative names -- give me your best. You'll get kudos and street cred for your efforts :)

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Anonymous Valerio el Cacique said...

Geeeesczh... Everyone knows the proper reference is:


no plumes here any more!

3/09/2007 8:28 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

Good tutorial, Sara! I hope this helps cut down on the "anonymice infestation." ;-)

3/09/2007 10:00 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

I try not to comment on typos here but "nom de plum" (should be "nom de plume") is such a peach I couldn't resist!

3/09/2007 11:11 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

You are right 11:11 pm -- feminine French noun, where did all those years of French go? I'll correct.

3/09/2007 11:18 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

errrr -- harping! It's late...

3/09/2007 11:19 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

valerio -- nostalgia for the pen....that's all it is :)

3/09/2007 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your next tutorial should be "How to use an Anonymizer (or series of them) to protect your IP".

3/10/2007 4:38 AM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

One thing about the Anonymous postings is that it is difficult to assign an ongoing persoanlity to the anonymous posts. A nom de plum (keyboard is simply too harsh) assigns a connection to the blogger and perhaps a personality to the author. I don't really know which is best.

Regardless of whether a post is anonymous or a pseudonym both allow a certain level of frankness that may not otherwise surface.

I think what is also convenient is the ability to work through multiple personalities. I have not used this method to work out my issues, however, I suspect other posters, including those that use there real names for gentile conversation also make acerbic posts that are perhaps in line with their real personalities.

I appreciate this form of anonymous discussion because two-faced discussion occurs in public as the rule for civility. With all these posts we get to read what I believe are more varied and frank posts.

3/10/2007 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:25: what is "gentile conversation"? ;) Other than your perhaps pun, I agree: it's much better to have the communication, the ideas and thoughts, without the tag of identifiable personality.

As it is here in Santa Barbara, there is too much cult of personality (or its reverse - so that ideas are dismissed because of disliking the speaker. All one has to say, for instance, is Das said... or Travis wrote... and there'll be a small torrent of objections, even before what he has said is heard. (And others, not just those two; they're the most jumped upon.)

Glad to see the correction to nom de plume (I wondered if the prior was a reversed-b reference to our mayor!)

Note, though: in Spanish a pen name is nombre de guerra (without the "la") - sort of interesting: the French and English are similar, "pen name," while the Spanish translates to "war name" or "name of war".

Since that's more like what blog writing is or often is, I prefer the Spanish, so mi nombre de guerra will remain "anonymous"

3/10/2007 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Sam Monella said...

Don't ya just eat this stuff up!

3/10/2007 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

I chose a nom de plume so that I could quickly discern who had responded to my posts. I really do not view unique identifiers for posters as a symptom of a "cult of personality." Khrushcev coined the phrase to criticize Stalin's dictatorship and governing style. But nowadays, folks like to use the term to refer to narcissism, which really is not a correct analogy. The "cult of personality" is a political condition whereby a political leader rules with the power of an omniscient and powerful god and assumes power not vested in him or her by the people (think Mao or George Bush calling himself "The Decider"). Wanting people to recognize you for your witty remarks on blog is simply garden variety narcissism.

3/10/2007 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Ann Honimus said...

Good idea

3/10/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous barney rantingasaurus said...

Hurrah for creating new identities that describe yourself!

3/10/2007 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Aristopnanes said...

Yes, Indeed. I agree with you all or none of you, I'm not sure which.

I caution you that one of my other personanlities has shaved it's head and broken out of rehab. Do not cross mental swords with it as you'll all be the less wiser and may look foolish in the process...

3/10/2007 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Ben Romo said...

I don't post on this or any blog very often. In fact, the first time I posted here I said that I never would again…but I got over my silly frustration and have posted a few times since then.

That being said, I have never posted on any blog anonymously, including this one. I feel like if I have something to say I should say it with my name attached.

I totally understand why people want to be anonymous sometimes because their comments, if attributed to them, could cause them to be attacked in ways that could be hurtful not only personally but also to one’s career or their higher mission in life; and that sucks. I have on many occasions resisted commenting online for these very reasons. Additionally and sadly, in this media market using one's name could even cause one to be sued for breathing too loud, blinking too fast, eating jerky with a grin, or some other grand conspiracy so I recognize and respect the need for anonymity.

Considering all these reasons to be anonymous, I still have often wondered why people choose to be anonymous when the issue they are commenting on is not controversial at all. Is it that once they comment with their name, all of their comments, even the anonymous ones, can be ID'd by SDLG because of their IP address or whatever it is? If that’s the fear, I think SDLG has proven her/his commitment to protecting these identities.

When I read this blog or the four others that I read every day, I often see comments and think to myself: “I wonder if that’s Blah Blah?”

How nice it would be to know the others who are out there reading this stuff and adding to it so when I see them around town I can actually talk about what they said and continue the discussion that was started in the wonderful world of the Internet. I think that would actually expand the power of the blog by extending it beyond the anonymity of the Internet and adding a word-of-mouth aspect that exists already but could be greatly expanded.

Anyway, I’d love to hear thoughts…as long as people can stand to read this entire post…and I’d love to know your name…if you DARE!

3/10/2007 7:45 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

Pardon the mis-spell it is genteel rather than gentile.

3/10/2007 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A local royal wedding may be in the future for a lucky local Baron and his betrothed. I have a very credible inside scoop that the esteemed publication the SBNP has hired a new gossip columnist and broadcaster, who will start his job next month. He has already signed a lease on a Montecito residence.
Yes, it is famous 'royal' expert Richard Mineards. [if you google his name you will get some of the low down]
He will probably also have radio show on KZBN following the the aura psychic. What a scoop for Wendy.

3/10/2007 8:54 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

Ben, I appreciate your post but it seems like you may have missed the point: Sara isn't promoting the joys of anonymity--she is just encouraging those who wish to post anonymously to choose a nom de blog instead of continually using the boring "anon." I also want to comment re: "I totally understand why people want to be anonymous sometimes because their comments, if attributed to them, could cause them to be attacked in ways that could be hurtful not only personally but also to one’s career or their higher mission in life; and that sucks. I have on many occasions resisted commenting online for these very reasons." I hope you'll decide to use a nom de blog for those occasions when you really want to contribute a comment to an online discussion without jeopardizing your career, etc. There's nothing shameful about doing so--as Sara pointed out, pseudonymetry (that's my neologism for tonight) is a time-honored art.

3/10/2007 10:37 PM  
Anonymous licorice said...

Hilarious! Wendy hires foremost ROYAL watcher! An absolute LOYALIST. Janet Charlton's old friend. Now can she get rid of the last columnist? A wedding, too?

3/11/2007 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Pierce Inverarity (aka David Ferry) said...

Hmm! Ms de la Guerra, it seems Dr. Laura is back--and has an interest in your blog.

Sorry you can't check it online, its not very exciting though.

Maybe you can pick the NP up out of the trash at starbucks tomorrow? :)

3/11/2007 3:52 AM  
Anonymous nomdecrayola said...

Great idea, I shall add my 2 cents from time to time in this manner rather than plain old anonymous!

3/11/2007 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Oedipa Maas said...

Pierce Inverarity! Love the homage to what may be the most entertaining novel ever. Will give your regards to Thurn & Taxis.

3/12/2007 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posting by the multi - "anonymous" posters to me means ideas get listened to, not a personality.

3/21/2007 7:28 AM  

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