It’s possible that while you were hunting for a more appropriate email address than emogurl1987@aol.com, you employed the use of a period in that newfangled contact. If that switch in name also meant a switch to Gmail, you can stop telling people about the dot: it doesn’t matter.

As Will Oremus writes over at Slate, certain email providers do take that little piece of punctuation into account, but Gmail isn’t one of them. According to a post on Google’s site, there’s absolutely no difference between hom.er.j.sim.ps.on@gmail.com, HOMERJSIMPSON@gmail.com, and Homer.J.Simpson@gmail.com; they’ll all go to the same person, homerjsimpson@gmail.com.

According to Oremus, if you’re still using Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Mail, or Apple iCloud, dots do still matter. Like Gmail, they’re irrelevant on Facebook—though Google Apps does recognize dots—and prohibited on Twitter. (We know, it’s confusing.)

A (sort of) fun side to all this is that you can put as many dots in your address as you want. And while the period may not matter in Gmail, the plus sign certainly does: You can use it to automatically filter messages in your inbox. 

[h/t Slate]

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