Saturday, January 22, 2011

Facebook names

In a very limited way, principles of Graphology or Handwriting Analysis can be applied to usernames in Facebook.

The username, somewhat equivalent to a handwritten signature, project one's public image, how someone wants to be known or perceived. This, of course, is very different from the real person behind the name.

Here are some ways in which people present themselves in Facebook:

1. Name plain and simple: Straightforward, has nothing to hide, usually happy with who he is and doesn't really care whether you like it or not. What you see is what you get. Ex. Berto Licungpaco.

2. So far, only Leonardo da Vinci had been known to write using mirror-image of the Italian alphabets, wherein each letter is flipped. The simplified Facebook equivalent is the name spelled in reverse; e.g. Oniuqa Yonyon.

Basically, the user has something to hide and he doesn't want others to know the truth about him. What he presents in public is different from the secret person he dares not show.

Also, the user may prefer events in his life to flow in the opposite direction because the present course is uneventful, unhappy, or problematic.

3. Graphologists agree that including the middle name or initial is a sign of pride, because it's a very formal (and official) way of presenting oneself. Edith Galang Lacanilao, Roland M Chiapoco (the lack of a dot after the middle initial "M" has a significance Roland might know or he is not aware of).

(I add here Roland's explanation: "Thanks for analyzing my facebook name. I was thinking of putting the 'M' in front of my first name just to be different. Naunahan lang ako ni M Night Shyamalan. With regards to the '.' period after M. just like in M Night's movies... I will let you draw your own conclusions.")

Every initial or name appended beyond the required ones is a sign of affection for the one linked to the additional name or initial. On the other hand, middle names or initials that create unhappy or uncomfortable thoughts are omitted. So what looks plain and simple may not be so at all. Nothing is really plain and simple, black or white, about people.

4. Nicknames are not exactly simple; they can be considered as substitutes or preferred forms of address. Anything that goes beyond the plain and simple is an embellishment, usually a ribbon to adorn the ego.

The "Pogi" in William Pogi Chua is obviously a modest attempt to conceal his real middle name, Cute. Yes, William Cute Chua makes him blush. Another reason for adding unusual second name is that people with Chinese surnames, which are very common, are sure to have namesakes all over this planet. When I was taking an exam permit in UST years ago, there are four other students named William Chua, although each of us have different middle initial. I recently heard my name mentioned in TV Patrol. Of course it's my popular namesake, the lawyer. One solution to this is to avoid regular first names if you have a very common family name. I don't think anyone has thought of naming his son Judas Chua, or Hitler Chua. Attila Chua will not have any namesake problem too.

Bong Raya Leuterio is presented in Facebook, instead of the rumbling Guadalupe (lightning flash) Raya Leuterio, because... well, I'm guessing it's short for bongabilya, the vernacular for the flower with the exotic French spelling bougainvillea.

Many years ago, I learned from an old client that the nickname of Ferdinand is Andy. But he did not want me to call him Mang Ferdinand or even Mang Andy; just Andy, he said. I was writing a political spoof then, and I thought of him. Eventually Congressman Ferdinand "Andy" Moño of the House of Representathieves came into existence.

Any alteration -- whether you add, remove or change -- from the plain and simple name indicates image enhancement, concealment of flaws, a wish for options, and thousands of other reasons within the complex human psyche.