Saturday, March 29, 2008


Last week when I posted about finding old New Orleans BBS buddies online, I learned a few things about my old "handle," Guenivere. At the time I "called the boards," as the term was, I was often accused of "misspelling" the name (usually spelled "Guinevere" after Tennyson) and had to defend my choice. For the record, the reasons for my chosen spelling were: (1) the diminuitives "Guen" (i.e., Gwen) and "Guennie" ("Gwennie") didn't really work--to my ear at least--as Guin and Guinnie. I prefer the softer "e" sound in the first syllable. (Of course, some pundits insisted on pronouncing it "Goonie.") (2) There is no "right" or "wrong" spelling anyway. The "real" name is actually "Gwynhwfar" with a modern English rendering of Jennifer. Anyway, I thought the spelling I chose was distinctive.

So today, when I do a Google search for "Guenivere" just to see what's out there, although the search engine dutifully asks me if I really meant "Guinevere" (and provides hits with that spelling unless I put "Guenivere" in quotation marks), it turns out that there are plenty (over 28K--so much for distinctive!) of hits for my "wrong" spelling of Arthur's queen's name. Perhaps some of them are also "misspellings" but it appears to be deliberately chose by many. There are a surprising number of women who use it either as a real name or as an alias, and at least two pop songs with "my" spelling in the lyrics all over the net. One song contains a line, "I loved you, Guenivere," repeated over and over again like a mantra. Another song says, "I'm no lady, I am Guenivere." (Well, humph.) It is also apparently a very popular name for cats.

So much for mystery, history, legend, and a commanding alias to hide behind while posting online!

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