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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Name Game

I have a pet peeve. Sometimes parents, in an attempt to give a child a name that is different and unique, give them a name no one knows how to pronounce. Now I'm okay with that, people are free to name their children wierd things if they wish, but some people take it a step further. They get OFFENDED if you mispronounce their name or their children's name, even if its spelled in a way that would confuse anyone. So they come into my office and the test begins. Can the therapist accurately pronounce little Ma'likwa's name? If not, we have a reason to be automatically offended. So my first interaction with some parents goes something like this:

Me: "Mall-ik-wa?"
Angry-looking parent: "It's May'-leek-qua.That's the way its spelled. That's why there's a hyphen."
Me: Sorry, I'm no good with names! Come on back, My-lik-wa."
Angry-looking parent: "It's May'-Leek-Qua, I just told you."
Me: "So sorry!" (instantly forgetting appropriate pronunciation) Come on back...kid."

And it tends to go downhill from there.

Now, my name is Carolyn. I am often called Carol, Caroline, Carolina...sometimes even Carrie, Karen- lots of derivations. This doesn't really bother me. Its what happens when one has a common name. Carolyn comes from the root male name Charles, so I'm just happy I don't get called Charlie, Charlemagne, Carlos, or Carl.

To top it all off, I have a twin sister! So I'm just as likely to get called her name as I am my own. If I got offended every time someone called me Sandy, I'd probably be in prison right now for disorderly conduct. I can't tell other twins apart either, so I don't judge.

So if you gave your kid a funky, individualized name, don't be mad when no one else gets it right away. Its like penalizing people for not knowing your inside jokes! If anyone, let it be a conversation piece, because once its brought up, there's a good chance no one will forget his or her name, even if they aren't sure how to pronounce it.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN! Holy cow! I def find this with subbing! Some of these kids get so angry! It's ridiculous... one time, I said one gals name wrong and got the stank eye the WHOLE day and that continued every time I subbed for her after that... her name is Lupe... I'm sure I said Lup-AY, but oh no... it's Lup-EE! And of course, after such a big deal is made about it, I can't even remember the correct pronunciation, so I still say whatever the wrong one is every single time! hahahah!