Google Account Experiment

Like many, I use my real name in my Gmail email address.  I swear by the service and have had an account since they became publicly available.  Earlier today, someone re-sent me an email they mistakenly sent to firstname.lastname@gmail.com, whereas mine is the last.first@gmail.com.  So, I tried to register the former as a catchall but it's not available.  I wondered whether another Joe Merante had claimed it.  There are more than one of us out there, although we don't have a town named after us and no yearly gathering (yet?), unlike the Phil Campbells of the world.  (Sadly, while searching for links to Phil Campbell, AL and the Phil Campbell Convention, I noticed the town has recently been devastated by a tornado.  You can help here.)  I couldn't find another claim to a similar email address but remembered the feature in Gmail that will deliver a message even if there is a (misplaced) period anywhere in a recipient's address.  For example, sending to fir.st.las.t@gmail.com will still deliver the message to first.last@gmail.com.  I thought maybe a similar backstop might apply to the reverse of a name.

I checked the availability of billybob.merante@gmail.com, then in another browser checked merante.billybob@gmail.com.  (I have a use for the account I actually registered, so won't feed the bots.  If you exist, sorry you're the example, Billy Bob.)  Both were available.  So, I registered billybob.merante@gmail.com.  Presto, the reverse was no longer available to register!  I assume this is on purpose, and not an earlier glitch that incorrectly showed availability of the reverse name.  But would a message sent to merante.billybob get delivered to billybob.merante?  Sadly, it did not.  Fortunately, I received back a delivery failure message as expected.  OK, time to do some real work...

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