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I'm an old gmail user from 2004 and I've always been curious about it.

Registering john.doe@gmail.com as a new gmail account, is doe.john@gmail automatically reserved?

If I try to send a mail to doe.john@gmail, the mail does not arrive to me and I don't get any Mail Delivery Subsystem warning so it seems the address is alive in some way.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you registered the account john.doe@gmail.com then you aren't going to get emails addressed to doe.john@gmail.com as that would be a totally different account.

I tested this with my own Gmail account and I get bounce back saying the account doesn't exist. You probably didn't get a bounce back because the account (doe.john@gmail.com) does exist - it must have been registered by someone else.

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that's strange though; in 7 years I have never received a mail sent by any friend/parents/whatever of doe.john@gmail.com using john.doe@gmail.com as address. I mean, it's pretty easy to make a mistake and invert name and surname; I did it many times. –  systempuntoout Jul 20 '11 at 8:55
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@systempuntoout dont forget that the . is an optional in the email and can be placed anywhere so it would result in the taking up of a lot of variation per registered email –  Matt Jul 20 '11 at 9:06
    
it is optional, but the most classic place is between name and surname or viceversa. –  systempuntoout Jul 20 '11 at 9:40
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By giving your email as john.doe@gmail.com. The most common mistake would be miss out or to misplace the . Swapping around the first and last name wouldn't be a common mistake, IMO. –  Barry Jul 20 '11 at 9:45
    
@Barry uhm, probably I see it as a common mistake because, unluckily, my mail at work is doe.john@work.com . So, sometimes a friend swaps name and surname by mistake OR I directly give him/her swapped :P –  systempuntoout Jul 20 '11 at 10:24
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