My ONE character email address

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

This one always cracks me up. I’ve owned my email domain,, for about 11 years now and for as long a period, I’ve had my email address the same. My email alias is a single character… C… just C… nothing else…

Through the years, I’ve had many an encounter where supposedly intelligent web applications simply refused to accept my email address, claiming it was somehow… invalid?! What???!!! For one, I was forced to stay with a single web hosting company for a very, very, very long time because most other hosts would not allow me to create an email alias that was just a single character. Now I know that I fly unconventionally sometimes, but I have one question about that?


Just why in all heck is it that a single character email address is considered “invalid”? I certainly don’t get it. Who made that stupid decision? If I want my email alias to just be “C”, why can’t it be? As long as nobody else already has it reserved, why can’t I have it? It’s my domain after all right? Just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I was reminded of this “short sighted” nuance of systems when I went online this morning to to check in for my flight to Raleigh, NC this morning. I wanted to forward a copy of my itinerary to my wife and Delta’s super intelligent system told me that my email address is… wait for it… INVALID… Supposedly, if I had an email address such as, now THEN it would be valid. I don’t know who comes up with these idiotic ideas for what is a valid email address and what it not, but I would think, given the vast amount of domain extensions out there that if the address has at least ONE character before the @ sign, and at least one character AFTER the @ sign and before the dot (.) and then again at least one character after the dot, that should qualify as valid, don’t you?

Here’s a screen shot of the Delta message:


OK, so if you ever happen to be in a position to write a part of a web application that validates email addresses, please take notice… there ARE actually some people out there that use a single character as their email address and yes, these are indeed VALID email addresses… 😉




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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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