Thank you for confirming.
I BELIEVE that pre-WiFi I had directory names that were longer and did display. But memory is clouded and I can’t go back in time and verify.
In my current setup I have, for example, the spinning Sonic ring in a directory called “sonicspin” – and this animation gets played A LOT more than others. I guess that is because you do get truncated 8.3 names (back from the old Win95 days were you had long and short filenames) but somehow that gets called everytime a directory is not found.
I will rename all directories to 8 chars or less over the easter days and see if it changes behaviour.