Nom De Plume

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Nom de Plume

When I started writing, it didn't occur to me to use a pseudonym, so I write under my own name. If I did have a pen name though, I like to think it would probably have been something historical that sounds very sort of Regency as I come from Cheltenham..... Sophia or Lavinia something, however knowing myself so well it's much more likely that I would have come up with something funny like Gloria Stitz.......or Sue Purglew......or Emma Roids. (think about these!)

The best nicknames are the ones people don't even know they have, as nick names are a potent way of cutting people down to size. Surely I can't be the only one who mentally gives people names they don't know they have like 'the Muddy Camper Van Couple', 'The unpruned Rose Bush family', or 'the Slut across the street!'

Also, remember when we were all in the first flushes of love and were gifted terms of endearment to use. Honey pie, Sugarplum, Bread pudding........for some reason they were all high calorie foodstuffs which we all try to avoid nowadays!

However there is a serious point to this article. I personally, and I'm sure I'm not alone, am fed up of reading Chatbox messages on AOL written incognito.

The experience of writing under a pseudonym can feel tremendously liberating. However,
what sort of people have we become that we feel emboldened, even justified, to abuse others under the guise of a nom de plume? A mindset appears to have developed which allows us to write abusive remarks without consequences.

I am certain that the editors of AOL are aware of the real identities of these Chatbox letters, however, freedom of speech should and does allow them to be printed, with the exception of the 'B' word, even if it is a cowardly act.

If you feel you should say something, then it should be important enough for you to put your own name to it.

Stephanie Richardson

Ed: Stephanie raises a point that frequently comes to our attention and we would remind contributors of the "AudlemOnline Terms of Use" which can be read here.

This subject is a source of frequent discussion within the editorial team particularly in relation to the future of Chatbox and we would welcome more feedback from readers on this subject.

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