Should user ***** ***** change his display name to something English? I wouldn't care if I could type it, but I can't even read Hebrew so how am I going to know what to write? I am putting it on here since I can't contact him directly. :) For those who are curious, Google Translate says it means ********* in english.

Edit: There are two issues with it being the way it is.

  1. You have to copy it.
  2. If we have ten people writing their name in Hebrew, how will we tell them apart?

Point number 1 isn't a big deal. And point #2 probably isn't either, but could be if there were a hundred! It isn't that big of a deal to me, but I thought I would bring it up.

Sorry if this sounds impolite, it isn't meant to be. Perhaps it can just be deleted if enough people don't like it.

  • Can you please expand and explain what problems you have with this name? Yes, you have to copy it instead of just typing it in a reply, but it seems that is the only "issue".
    – Jan Fabry
    Feb 17, 2011 at 16:38
  • I wonder how that name interacts with comment replies. And unrelated to the comment replies feature, this. Feb 18, 2011 at 18:42
  • As soon as I read your question I knew you were going to get flak for it. As politically incorrect as it may sound, I think you have a good point. I wouldn't mind if there were at least a couple of Latin initials we could use for @-notation, but there aren't. This forum already includes people whose names use decidedly non-Latin character (e.g Андрій Савченко, AKA Rarst (I was guessing Ukrainian, sorry if it should have been Андрей)). We have Japanese, Chinese, and who-knows-how-many other nationalities here. And yet all of their posts are in English. Why is that? Feb 19, 2011 at 1:00
  • I've gotten more scolding than I expected. Anyway, my apologies if this is inconsiderate or rude. I guess it is good to learn to tell them apart anyway, than be lazy and demand that people use our language to write their names just because, well, English is standard. Feb 19, 2011 at 13:12
  • 1
    I know you already expressed this is not meant to be impolite - anyway - from my point of view it would sound MUCH BETTER if you would start this question with Should instead of Could. It would help it to sound more like a question for a discussion then a rude request...
    – Michal Mau
    Feb 20, 2011 at 10:30

4 Answers 4


The only serious side effect of non-ASCII names is that it is harder to reply to them in comments.

It's completely up to the user what they want their name to be, but it is true that names with no ASCII characters are a bit more problematic for other users to refer to.

  • Is it harder, because we have to copy the names, or impossible, because all characters are dropped?
    – Jan Fabry
    Feb 21, 2011 at 12:47
  • @jan it works, no idea what you're talking about Feb 21, 2011 at 20:45
  • @Jeff: OK, then there is no problem. Because the function you linked there seemed to ignore all non-ASCII chars except those mapped to non-accented versions, I was afraid that a non-ASCII name like the one that caused this question would be reduced to the empty string.
    – Jan Fabry
    Feb 21, 2011 at 20:52
  • @Jeff - It would be much easier if StackExchange has features that automatically included the username when replying. Feb 26, 2011 at 22:26
  • @mike conversation is neither the purpose or desired effect, therefore I am disinclined to add features that make it easier to do so. Feb 26, 2011 at 22:29
  • @Jeff Atwood - Acknowledged, but I find it unfortunate. There are a lot of times when conversation is critical to tease out what people are actually asking for with their questions. Most of the time the amount of information provided in a question is pathetic compared to the information needed to give a good answer. FWIW. Feb 26, 2011 at 22:40

I would agree with tosco and say at the very least your request is impolite and ignorant. As a website, English is the spoken language at wordpress.se. As a global community, we all have varying backgrounds. To ask someone to change their name to accommodate your intolerance is plain rude.


I think your request is … inappropriate, maybe even impolite. The majority of languages doesn't use a latin based alphabet. All of these people had to learn English sometimes to participate here and to tell the differences. If we have their problem now, we should apply their solution.

  • What do you mean by "apply their solution"? Learn the basics of their alphabet? I agree with that, but I'll first try to manage it by looking at the Gravatars and the rep score to keep people apart :-)
    – Jan Fabry
    Feb 17, 2011 at 20:56
  • Yes, I mean the alphabet. Gravatars and reputation may help, but learning really new things makes more fun. :)
    – fuxia Mod
    Feb 17, 2011 at 23:15

Well, since I got dragged into this by being decidedly Ukrainian :)

First, while site itself is in in English, names are a little more individual than that. You simply can't accommodate to something as variable as names worldwide by dumbfounding it to latin character set.

(aside) For the record my name is officially transcribed to latin charset as Andrii, which I find crazy and retarded exquisitely awkward both for me and those unfortunate to have to use that form. At least I get "Just address me as Andr the Second" joke out of it.

There is no rule about this, so as usual it's up to as (as in community) what attitude to have about it.

Second this is basically weighting personal preference against community convenience. Does non-latin name create enough drag on community for it to be collectively annoyed about it?

I do not think question is especially impolite or intolerant, it reflects my initial thoughts about that nickname precisely - what the heck do I do with it and will site (as in @-replies and such) even work properly with it?

Now I think that in practice it is minor issue and not worth worrying about.

  • "I do not think question is especially impolite or intolerant, it reflects my initial thoughts about that nickname precisely - what the heck do I do with it and will site (as in @-replies and such) even work properly with it?" - My opinion exactly. Feb 26, 2011 at 22:27

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