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E-mail Addresses: Case Sensitive?

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help
 
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Q:
Can you please tell me if e-mail addresses are case sensitive? I see them typed out both ways, so I was just wondering which was right. Thanks for your help!

A:
We here at WorldStart have talked about URLs being case sensitive before, but it never even crossed my mind to write about e-mail addresses.That’s all going to change today. Here we go!

Let’s say one of your closest friends just set up an e-mail account and you ask them what their new e-mail address is. They write it down for you on a piece of paper and when you go to e-mail them, you realize they wrote it in all CAPS. So, you sit there and ponder for awhile if you’re really supposed to type it in all CAPS or not. Will it make a difference? If you do, will your friend still get your e-mail? If you don’t, will they still receive it? You have so many questions!

Well, I can tell you if you’re ever uncertain as to whether or not an e-mail address is case sensitive, it’s likely it’s not. Most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and other e-mail clients don’t care which way an e-mail address is typed. That means you can pretty much type it out whichever way you please. For example, STEVE@WORLDSTART.COM is the same as steve@worldstart.com. Either way you type it, the e-mail will still go through successfully.

However, there are some exceptions. There are instances where the first part of an e-mail address is case sensitive, but the second part is not. The first portion consists of a user’s username (alias or group name, etc.) and if the e-mail server for that address declares it case sensitive, it definitely matters which way you type it. For example, if an e-mail address is case sensitive, steve, STeve, STEVE or steVE would all be considered different users. You’d just have to check with the e-mail server to see if it requires an address to be case sensitive or not. It rarely happens, but if you’re having trouble getting an e-mail to go through, you may want to check on that.

Now, you should also keep in mind that spaces are not allowed in e-mail addresses. If you accidentally hit the Spacebar when you’re typing out an e-mail address, your e-mail will not be sent out. You can, of course, break an e-mail address up with periods, dashes and underscores, but those are much different than a space. Also, if you’re sending an e-mail out to multiple recipients, make sure you separate each of them with a comma. If you just run all of them together, your e-mail client will be confused and the e-mails will bounce back to you.

Just a few things to keep in mind when you’re working with e-mail addresses. I hope they help!

~ Erin

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