Gmail tips and triks using + (plus) and . (dot) in the email address.

I don’t know you but I’m a Google fan since years now. My first gmail is getting really old now and I must say the whole Google offer is very interesting.

What I’d like to let you know is one of the only Google email (Gmail) features that differentiate it from the mass.

  1. The use of the + (plus) sign.
  2. The use of the . (dot) sign.

As you know the RFC822 (now rfc2822) requires some rules to specify an internet email address.

The 2822 talks about an “Internet identifier” as the part of the address before the @ (ascii code 64) and it’s there that we can have some diversity in treatment as this depends from the server is hosting the service.

Google decided to use  the special + character to separate internet identifier from a label. So if my gmail address was john@gmail.com I can instead give for example to ebay my email as a (valid) john+ebay@gmail.com and be sure I’ll receive my email and that that will be saved on a labeled side of my emailbox named ebay! Thanks Google!

The only real problem derives from the fact that some (let say A LOT!) of service providers (banks especially) do not recognize the “+” (plus) sign as a valid character (although it is) within the “internet identifier” part of the email address field. And this is really a sin and a mistake! Unlikely lot of services don’t care about specs like RFC2822 for dealing with the correctness of interne identifier but just avoid lot of characters supposedly “un-allowed” blocking services features like the one of Google mail.

Let’s go now to the point “.” Did you know that you can use the dot as a separator and google will bring email to your mailbox as nothing has happened.

Example: johnnybegood@gmail.com for gmail is identical to johnny.begood@gmail.com or johnny.be.good@gmail.com or (worse) j.o.h.n.n.y.b.e.g.o.o.d@gmail.com !!! 😉

I hope You enjoyed the article.

L.R.