Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Rose by any Other Name...

Okay - FIRST - if you haven't submitted a smoothie recipe to the e-mail listed in the prior post - go do that... and since 99% of you haven't I should start to see tons rolling in... and yes - I'm sending mine today too, so join the "I was a slacker but I'm getting with the program" club today!

Now the post: which was admittedly brought on by my inability to address the birthday invitations for Little M's birthday party... too many ways to spell/misspell her friends' names... so in advance, I will apologize to Hailey/Hailli/Haley for messing up.

Once upon a time I was young... a mere teen with my maiden name intact - but my first name has always been the same... I hear it works that way for most of us -

on the particular day in question I had gone to church and met my new teacher... she'd just moved into our area and she didn't know any of us rowdy kids... thus the invitations around the room...

Teach: and your name is?
Adrian: Adrian.
Teach: hi Adrian - nice to meet you... and you?
Lara: Lara.
Teach: Good to have you here Lara... and your name?
Me: Tonya
Teach: oh, I named my daughter Tonya - but then we decided we didn't like the name so we changed it to Tawny.
Me: silence...

I mean... what are you SUPPOSED to say when someone tells you they are willing to pay good money to not have to say your name? (I tried to find out how much "good money" equals... but online estimates are anywhere from $10 to $250...) I said... well, okay - let's be honest I have NO idea what I said... I wasn't nearly as snarky back then.

Today? okay, so today I still have no comeback... you can leave your best one in comments.

but names in general are a funny thing... and the spelling of such names can be even funnier...

Is it a form of child abuse to name your daughter something pretty reasonable like "Sierra" and then spell it "Ciarrah" just to be "unique"... because you know that will haunt her for life?

Don't get me wrong - I love unique names... there's not a Sam or Mary amongst my children... but with all the unique spellings out there for names... I start to wonder where it will end.

Tonya for example.

Tanya - I know, there are Tanyas out there galore... some of whom pronounce their name just like mine... I can deal with that...

Tonia - yeah, this one doesn't irk me either... if I get letters with this spelling I'm a little confused, because it doesn't seem like the MOST common spelling - but it IS pretty - and would certainly be my choice if I ever decided to change mine... (for between $10 and $250)

Tania- ...
Tanja- ...
Tonja- (okay that one's starting to irk me...)

but the end all be all "I can't believe somebody worked THIS hard to spell my name wrong" was the letter that came one day addressed to:

Tawnjia.

no joke.

Of course, this is a little strange for ME to be annoyed by this... considering I wanted a dog when I was little - and I wanted to name him Phydough.

19 comments:

Saimi said...

Try having a name like Saimi. (sigh-me)
Although I do love being named after my Grandmother and all so don't get me wrong. But It's never been pronounced right nor spelled correctly..I'm sure if I go to Finland I'll fit right in.

But I'm hearing ya, you should see the common names we come across at school that have the most bazaar spellings...Jaushiwa, yeah, try Joshua...I'm pretty sure that one came from an illiterate mom.

We get all kinds!

Kristina P. said...

Ha! That's hilarious. My sister once did something like that. She is named Angela, but was going to be named Abigail. Everyone else hated it, so my mom named her Angela.

She once told another Abigail that she was almost named Abigail, but everyone hated it. Awkward.

Charlotte said...

I'm sure the teacher realized her misspeak and felt awful ever after. Perhaps you could have said, "Yeah, not everyone can be good enough to qualify for the 'Tonya' name"?

I have an old-fashioned, common name and no one seems to be able to spell it. How are you pronouncing it when you spell it Charolette? Not correctly.

Barbaloot said...

I'm a fan of spelling names how they're pronounced. I don't get the whole "unique" thing. My future kids will probly be angry that I gave them boring names. But at least no one will ever get confused by them!!

Usually, when people learn my name, they respond, "Oh, that's my grandma's name." Awesome.

Gina said...

1 - There are actually studies that link lack of education on the mother's part to "misspelled" names, and a parent's education level is the single biggest indicator for prison time and high school completion... so, there's that...

2 - To the teacher, I would have just laughed. Seriously, think about it. Is there ANYTHING more insulting than for somebody to LAUGH at the name you chose for a child. That would REALLY show her!

cold cocoa said...

How rude of that teacher. She must have been really nervous I guess?

And you remember I have a Sam, right? And you have a Mary, kind of.

Megz said...

Names and their spellings are a dicey topic. What's normal to some is too boring for others. The generational trends are interesting though. I went to school with tons of Heathers and Jennifers and Julies. None of my kids have any of those names in their classes.

T said...

I should probably point out that I am not CRITICIZING names like Sam, Frank, Mary, Jennifer... whatever... I actually LIKE those names, we just didn't use them for my kids... it's when they're spelled Samm, Phranck, Mayrie, Geniffer...

Malinda said...

I was named after my great grandmother and she died a few weeks after I was born, so I never knew her, but I heard she was a great woman. So I love that part of my name, but almost everyone spells my name wrong, except for family and friends. It has happened most of my life, but oh well I am used to it by now.

T said...

Malinda - I think you were the first Malinda I ever met - so the Melindas out there actually looked odd to me for awhile :)

alternate spellings are fun... it's when they get WEIRD that I worry ;)

Cluttered Brain said...

hmmm i have to be witty too?
ahem...remember i woke up at like 3:30 this morning...lol.

nothing is coming to me...

sorry tanga...or is it tania?
or tannypoo...
lol...love ya babe...whoever you are....

MommyJ said...

My Mother wanted me to spell Henry's name, Henre. Um, why? If I'm gonna call him Henry, I'm spelling it Henry. I absolutely think crazy spellings are a disservice to kids.

My little brother's name is Ehren, which I really, really like. Mostly because this is the south and if he spelled his name Aaron, like the traditional form of the name, it would pronounced A - Ren. He has to constantly spell his name though to help people out. And he gets letters addressed to Erhen all the time.

Melanie Jacobson said...

Tawny sounds like a stripper. And that's a fact.

Also, I have never met a single Melony in my whole life. Lots of Melanies. And yet, people often still spell it Melony. So weird.

Amy said...

Nothing witty to add, but I did have someone tell me I spelled my name wrong once. I always thought it was the easy way to spell it.

Amy said...

And now I'm totally laughing because I really really really thought I was logged in under my account, oh well, It's me...Lori

Amy said...

Oh, and I alsohave been told by several people that I look like an Amy, even people who don't know that's my daughter.

The Empress said...

I can tell you, what drives me NUTZ is when people tell me I"ve spelled my son's name wrong.

Me. The Mother.

"OH. You mean....You spelled that wrong."

xo

Sher said...

What can I say? We have Trisa (tree-sa) who rarely gets her name said right if people are reading it for the first time-- but if they hear it first they spell it wrong. I was told by her nursery teacher rather forcefully that I had spelled her name wrong. Fortunately Trisa likes it. We liked it because it was a Finnish spelling which gave it extra meaning to us.

Momza said...

I cannot believe this is the first time I've ever been over here. Maybe I have but I can't remember? lol--that would be believable.
Anyway, I loved this post and have thought of blogging similar because as a doula/midwife I am "at the scene" when a baby is named and let me tell you there have been some WHOPPERS out there! How a couple can look at a heavenly being and declare such an awful name upon their child is indeed an awkward place to be! There've been times I wanted to whisper in the mother's ear: "No, you can do better than that. Keep it normal." But I haven't ever. I just sigh and think "poor kid."
Oh, and I've been called "Donna" more than I can count. And have had mail show up "Daun"...seriously, it's just "Dawn".