Saturday, January 24, 2009

It could be worse.

Recently, I changed my last name from a very common English one to a less common one of French heritage. Everyone knew how to spell and pronounce the English one; I just said it and - boom - it was recorded correctly. No fuss, no muss.

This is not true with the French name which has been Anglicized three different ways. I must constantly go through the spelling of it, usually several times per conversation whenever I have to give my name over the phone. I try to point to cultural references (on the off chance that the operator is Canadian, that is) that might ease the spelling situation and shorten my time on the phone. Frankly, going into a fair amount of explanation with the sales associates has become a bit of a burden.

At least I thought it was a burden, until I found this article which kind of puts things in perspective for me.

4 comments:

Rational Jenn said...

Funny article! I've always been fascinated with names, particularly surnames, having grown up with a rather, uh, challenging one.

When I got married, I upgraded to one that has no negative (or other) connotations--it was nice. I do have to spell it more than I imagined I would have--and it's amazing how often it gets misspelled.

Anyway, loved the article!

LB said...

I thought the article was a riot. But even with this new perspective, I still found it burdensome to have to spell my name 1.5 times a few minutes ago.

Amy said...

That is fracking hilarious. I totally relate, since I was Afflerbach for 32 years until I got married and ended up Mossoff. Mossoff is actually misspelled more often.

Matt said...

I can relate, somewhat. Matt isn't to hard to spell (although, I'm surprised how many people ask me if it is one or two t's--I've never seen it spelled with one). My last is a little weird as it has an "n" and and an "m" at the end of each syllable and that just sounds weird when spoken fast.

I feel sorry for my mother. Her name is Guillermina. You can't imagine how many butcherings of that name we've seen.