Cordial Deconstruction

Observations from our shared single objective reality in a materialistic, naturalistic, & effectively macro-deterministic universe.

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Origins of My Pseudonym and My Blog’s Name

Posted by Karl Withakay on July 29, 2010

Tonight I decided to do a light and easy post on my pseudonym and blog name rather than the topic I originally planned to blog about, partly because I spent too much time playing Lego Harry Potter to have enough time to do a good job on the topic I was going to blog about.

Origins of a Pseudonym

Tonight I changed the display name for my blog ID to match the name I use pretty much everywhere else on the internet.  It’s the name I use in forums, when making comments on other people’s blogs, and elsewhere.  The name is Karl Withakay.

Until recently I never realized how many people don’t catch the play on words underlying that online name.  In fact, it seems that most people that I meet in person after “meeting” online haven’t caught it.  Perhaps that’s because they first see the name written (typed) online rather than hearing it pronounced out loud.  Once I explain it to them, they tend to say something to the effect of, “Oh, duh, I get it now.”

Apparently I’m not the first person to think up the pseudonym Karl Withakay:  This guy is not me, but apparently he came by the name through a similar process.  After years giving my first name as “Karl, with a K” to avoid any misspelling of my name, I eventually began to joke to my friends that I should change my middle name to “Withakay”.  When I first started registering to post on forums and blogs, I thus had the perfect pseudonym to use for my online persona, Karl Withakay.

Origins of a Blog’s Name

The name of this blog, Cordial Deconstruction was chosen after much deliberation and consideration of various names.  I’d been thinking of setting up a blog for a while and had always intended it to be related to critical thinking and deconstruction of  things like fallacious logic or bad science & plot lines in television shows and movies.

Before getting around to setting up my own blog, I had been commenting on various blogs like Science Based Medicine, Respectful Insolence, and Neurologica for several years, cutting my teeth on logical argument and online discourse.   I always strove to hold myself to the standard of conduct of the bloggers on those sites, keeping the discourse polite and cordial, even when completely deconstructing another commenter’s arguments.

The name I finally settled on for this blog was both a reflection of what the blog was going to be as well as a tribute to the blogs of two other people.  One is probably my favorite blog, Orac’s Respectful Insolence.  The other is the blog of my real world friend, Polite Scott of Polite Dissent.  Thus the current subtitle “(Not Polite or Respectful, just Cordial.)”


2 Responses to “Origins of My Pseudonym and My Blog’s Name”

  1. Bob said

    So the next blog will be the “Genial Protest” or “Genial Criticism” then.

  2. Hi. You’re indeed correct. I always introduced myself as “Karl, Karl With a K” to (as in your case) to avoid misspellings of my name. I decided to use that very name professionally and spell it “Karl Withakay”. Thanks for mentioning my website here. So far though, the only Karl Withakays that I see on the internet other man you or me is an Asian web designer. If one googles “Karl Withakay” a lot of my stuff comes up as well as some of your stuff. It’s all good though. Greetings from a fellow “Karl Withakay”.


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