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While I don't necessarily agree with your parent's post, there's a relatively simple solution here. If you're using gmail, you can use the + operator to automatically tag emails. Here, it serves an alternative purpose.

For example, if my email is daniel@gmail.com, then I would use daniel+hn@gmail.com when signing up for Hacker News.




Skipping over the fact that most email providers don't necessarily support this, and that not all websites/services will allow it (not saying they are right not to), this creates a whole new set of things to remember as even something as simple as +hn (which is surely simple enough that anyone could guess it) could be tougher on other sites, e.g. is Reddit +rd, +re, or...?

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To carry this idea further, the +descriptor email trick has backfired on me before. Sometimes sites require an email login and it takes me several tries to even remember what my +descriptor was.

Sometimes, I don't actually remember and just end up going to my inbox to find an email from the site so I can look up what I used.

Another time, this backfired on me when I purchased concert tickets using a +descriptor email and couldn't login. The purchase form and login form had different validation rules, so the purchase form accepted my +descriptor email and charged me for it. The login form rejected my +descriptor email and I was rushing to contact customer service to print my ticket in time.

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