"I'm not a chicken. I'm just really hesitant." -Frasier Crane
Question #89916 posted on 06/18/2017 9:50 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board At Large,

While reading the archives I came across this thought by Commander Keen from 2010 in Board Question #59048: "the trend for most people has become to not use a regular pseudonym when signing questions...That makes me sad, honestly. When I started reading, it seemed that they were used with more regularity."

From my observations and personal habits, it seems reader 'nyms are frequently used to add one final punchline or piece of context, much like how hashtags are used (potential hypothesis: twitter influenced reader board 'nyms?). Frequently I even see writers tack extra context/punchlines onto their 'nyms, and I admit, it's a useful medium to tap into (especially since xkcd has conditioned me to expect additional hover-over text).

Have you noticed this trend? Any ideas why this might be so? What would your preference be: regular pseudonym or final thought?
I think we can all agree to what CK tacked onto his 'nym: "CK, tired of everyone signing "person" or "can't come up with anything clever" or "insert name here.""

-Gotta go Pro-Reader Status and think up a personal reader 'nym now


Dear Gotta Read Fast,

I can't really speak for other readers/writers, but when I was just a reader I never felt like I could come up with a 'nym that I felt could describe me accurately. Even as a writer, it took a long time before I even settled on Frère Rubik. That's not to say I never re-used reader 'nyms; there were a couple that I brought back for repeat questions (and still do, from time to time), but normally I changed the 'nym to fit the question, like you talked about.

-Frère Rubik

P.S. What if I told you...that the Board also has hover text?!?!?!

Not every writer uses it (some might not even know how), and those who do use it may not always do it consistently, but it's definitely a thing. If you want a good place to start, try looking at some old answers by yayfulness and Tally M. 

*Frère rubs his hands together and lets out a maniacal laugh at the thought of countless readers painstakingly hovering over every word of the archives just to see if there's hover text there.*


Dear Go-Pro,

Your comment about xkcd makes me think I might know who you are. I'm very suspicious now.

Personally, I think it's fun when I can identify a specific reader by their nym. It makes it feel like we have more of a Board culture, rather than just a bunch of randos who ask one-time questions and then never get on the Board again. I mean, that probably happens, too, but it's also fun to have consistent readers who we know are consistent. But on the other hand, I understand if people don't want to use just one nym. And sometimes it's nice to have nyms that add more context or humor to the question.

So I guess everyone can just make their own choice. We all have agency or whatever.


P.S. What if I told you...that this very answer also has hover text?!?!?! You have to hover for a while for it to show up, though, for whatever reason.