Sometimes you may receive a message intended for someone whose address resembles yours but has a different number or placement of dots. For example, your address might be firstname.lastname@example.org, but the message was sent to a Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com. What's going on?
Gmail allows only one registration for any given username. Once you sign up for a particular username, any dot or capitalization variations are made permanently unavailable for new registration. If you created email@example.com, no one can ever register firstname.lastname@example.org, or Your.email@example.com. Furthermore, because Gmail doesn't recognize dots as characters within usernames, adding or removing dots from a Gmail address won't change the actual destination address.
If you're firstname.lastname@example.org, no one owns Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com, except for you. Sending mail to Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com is the same as sending mail to email@example.com, or even HOMERJSIMPSON@GMAIL.COM. If you're getting mail addressed to Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com, most likely someone was trying to send a message to Homer.J.Sampson@gmail.com, or Homer.J.Simpson1@gmail.com, and made a mistake. You might even get messages from mailing lists or website registrations because the intended recipient accidentally provided the wrong email address. In these cases, we suggest contacting the original sender or website when possible to alert them to the mistake.
For security reasons, when you log in to Gmail, you must enter any dots that were originally defined as part of your username.
Note: Google Apps recognizes dots. If you'd like to receive mail with a dot in your username, please ask your domain administrator to add the desired username as a nickname.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
About email addresses
I ran across this on one of Google's help pages. Cleared up some things for me.