I was surprised to receive this evening an e-mail whose sender is listed as “Satan”. I was even more surprised to discover it appeared to have been written by ElShaddai Edwards, who is certainly not an alter ego of the devil.
In fact the message was a pingback for my post on Satan in Job, generated by ElShaddai’s post Satan, Job and Goethe which quotes and links to my post. The confusion arose because my WordPress installation generated an e-mail for the pingback with the From: address “Satan, Job and Goethe « He is Sufficient <email@example.com>”; my mail program Thunderbird parsed this as two senders’ addresses separated by a comma, and only displayed the first sender’s name.
This seems to be a small bug in my WordPress installation, still version 2.3.3 at the moment, in that it is generating sender’s address display names with commas in them. These are not permitted in display names except in quote marks; that is, they are permitted in quoted-strings, but not in atoms, as specified here. There is a further bug, or undesirable feature, in these display names in that they include visible HTML entities like “»” and “’”.
Perhaps they have fixed these bugs in the new WordPress 2.5, but in the light of some other bloggers’ comments I am not going to rush into an upgrade.