Light Raillery

1 August, 2006 at 3:31 am (clerical)

I have totally fallen in love with the word “persiflage” today. I read an article about how the romantic male lead and one of the main writers of NBC’s The Office had gone to grade school together and tripped over the word. I’d never encountered it before, and it so perfectly summed up the way I feel about my own verbal contributions to the wider world, that I decided to make it my new identity. I’ve been tired of “m3lbatoast” for a while. In college, being on the fringes of a bunch of self-proclaimed n3rds and 31337, I enjoyed the alphanumeric thing. But it’s hard to write out. And it’s hard to say simply. “Is that a numeral one or a letter ell after the three? What does that say? Emm-three-ell-ba-toast?” I have grown tired of it.

Unfortunately, adopting “persiflage” as a new web-identity isn’t that simple. Despite my inexperience with the word, it is a standard enough vocabulary word, which means that someone thinks it’s marketable. Specifically BuyDomains.com, which seems to think that the persiflage.com address is worth a cool seven thousand dollars as a personal site. Now I can’t wonder what their dedicated evaluateers would have quoted as a price if I’d said that I wanted the site for a business page or for a film tie-in. Persiflage.net has been similarly sat upon by BuyDomains. I assume that .net top-level domains are less desirable and might cost a grand or so less, but even that is eye-rubbingly ridiculous. It’s a nice scam if you can get someone to swallow it.

I have come up with a suitable username that will link to the persiflage brand and concept, and have been wandering all over creation solidifying my stake. It’s a fake word, so it hasn’t been that difficult, and now my potential new web-identity has it’s seat saved over at Blogspot, Gmail, WordPress, AIM, Flickr, and Yahoo!. But while it makes for a good username, it’s not really URL material, outside of the free hosting that someplace like WordPress provides.

The difficulty arises when one tries to avoid paying BuyDomains or GoDaddy. What do I go with? persiflage.biz? persiflage.co.uk? I am so through the whole three-for-e thing, and besides I’m not really seeing the aesthetic appeal of p3rsiflage.com. “m3lbatoast” has a visual aspect to it that is pleasing, and the reversed substitute digit makes itself almost immediately self-apparent. “p3rsiflage” and “persiflag3” fail to create a similar intuitive grace, or indeed to embody any visual aesthetic.

I have my eye on a couple of work-arounds that have a certain charm — but they will not be mentioned here so as to prevent any vicious cybersquatting. However, suggestions are welcomed as I scrutinize my bank account and ponder redesigns, server hosts, functionality, and longevity.

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