• [Evolution of Eingang]

    One of the questions I get asked fairly frequently by people is “How did you come up with Eingang as your nickname?” Here explained are the mysterious origins of “Eingang” or “Ein.”

    Once upon a time, in a cold, beautiful land, there lived a quirky blonde sysop named Michelle. Michelle had a long history of using electronic bulletin boards in the early 1980s, long before the days of Internet popularity. Among her many first pseudonyms or nicknames were things like The Admiral, Irish Coffee, or Desiderata, although most of those were for specific clandestine purposes. She often just used her own first name and a fine name it was. However, she had quickly discovered that using her own rather feminine name was prone to bring unwanted attentions upon her. She flitted electronically amongst a mostly (hormone-laden) geeky male world like a ghostly angel of the aether.

    When the day came to join the ranks of the Internet Relay Chatters (IRC) in 1992, she didn’t feel comfortable in using a feminine name. She wanted something vaguely male sounding or non-gender specific. At the time, she was travelling quite often between her beautiful, cold land and Switzerland. The areas of Switzerland she was in were German-speaking, and the word “Eingang” appeared all over the place: on the entrance to the highways, above doors into malls or buildings, everywhere!

    This word appealed to her. It appealed to her a lot. So “Eingang”–entrance–she became. German speakers know “Eingang” is a masculine word, and English speakers generally don’t know, so she didn’t ever suffer from those unwanted attentions. Later, she decided, in retrospect, that her nickname should really fully be “Eingang des Chaos”–the entrance to chaos–which, for those of you who know her well, is very appropriate.

    Now, many many years later, far away from her beautiful, cold land, she’s still the Eingang or the Ein, and there are many EinThings. You might say that she has her own Eindentity!


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