This includes subbing in "1"s for "i"s, but also riffs on the AOL chatroom trope of suffixing a username with "4u".
Although 53 percent of usernames in Herring's survey included a number, very few of the numbers seemed to have personal meaning.
I began with Christian Rudder, OKCupid’s founder and the author of , a book that uses data from the dating site to draw conclusions about message language, message length, depressing discrepancies between male and female age preferences, and more.
She surveyed over 300 usernames on OKCupid, coding them for information relating to the following categories: gendered, real name, numbers, trying to be funny, geographical reference, hobby/interest, profession, sex/love, physical attributes, nonphysical attributes, sentential, “random” words, meaning unclear.
"Most numbers seemed to have been included to differentiate the username from other similar usernames in the system," Herring said.
Only five percent of usernames surveyed included geographic information, and zero percent included pop culture references such as band names.
“There’s too much variety in the names to really get a sense of whether one particular one affects incoming messages,” he told me in an email.
“There are certainly trends -- people append the word 'taco' a lot, but that’s because we suggest it, kind of as a joke.