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That's Not Her Name

Say my name, say my name! But say it right, yo!
When Hubbs and I were trying to come up with a name for our little girl, it was a very lengthy, arduous process.  Being a teacher automatically eliminates a thousand (or more!) names from qualifying, since there are a lot of associations to certain names, and those names that do manage to escape that still end up being DQ'ed because they sound ridiculous with our surname, or can easily be made fun of (e.g. rhymes with certain vulgar words, etc).

This is why we totally thought that we hit the jackpot when we discovered Little L's name, which (surprise!) isn't actually Little L and doesn't even begin with the letter "L."  It does mean, however, "daughter of a wise one/wisdom" in Hebrew.  It is also delightfully feminine without being frilly, unique without being complicated or weird, and beautifully simple.  When we told people her name, and even now when we tell people her name, it is often met with compliments. 

However, one problem we didn't quite anticipate was the pronunciation of her name.  Apparently, it is subject to interpretation, namely, the first syllable can be pronounced with a longer vowel or a shorter vowel sound.  We chose the longer vowel sound, and figured that if we simply told people her name, or corrected a mispronunciation, there would be no further butchering of it.  Right?


Maybe people just aren't good listeners anymore.  Maybe the letters confuse them (they shouldn't).  I can't explain it.  However, there have been multiple instances in the past year where, even after we corrected individuals on how Little L's name should be spoken, we've had to endure full conversations where these folks keep referring to her by what is essentially another name.  It's like pronouncing the name "Geoff" as /jee'-off/ even after being told that it's simply said as /jef'/.

And now that it has been a year, it's become a bit of a sore spot for me.  Frankly, I think it's kind of rude to misspeak someone's name, even after constant correction.  I mean, I understand if it is a supremely difficult ethnic name, the kind that can really only be said properly if one spoke another language.  Yes, in those instances, it's forgivable to mispronounce the name a few times.

However, this is not one of those names.  Little L's first name is only two syllables long, and every sound from her name is a common sound in the English language.  Even my Chinese-speaking parents can say her name just fine, so native English speakers are without excuse.

So what gives?! I think we've hit a point now where Hubbs and I will make an awkward scene if the mispronouncing continues.  I don't want Little L growing up thinking that she needs to accept people saying her name wrong all of the time when it's completely unwarranted.

Open your ears folks, and if you can't figure out how to say her name properly, then just avoid using it altogether or zip it!!!

End rant.


mazoola said…
what is her name? :o)
Ms PR said…
I can see your frustration. :) JJ's full name (not sure if you know the full name) is often mispronounced too. It doesn't bother us that much though. We simply correct and move on. People will be people, and I figure they could be calling her worse names. HAHA.. :p I think it's also cuz I've gone through life with people not knowing how to pronounce my real name (the one that is now my middle name, don't think you know it), so it's like, goes on. As long as the people who matter know how to say it right, it's all good yo.
mazoola said…

i definitely would be one who would need to be corrected post first attempt
asphodellium said…
I'm irked when people ask my girl's name, then tune out after the first syllable and go, "Oh, Ashley!" Boo.
I finally had a moment to read the blog from my computer and not phone and I realize that the comments i had in my head never made it on here again. This name thing was big for us, since my husbands last name is AWFUL! Not once has it been pronounced correctly, in fact I write under my maiden name! ugh. But when it comes to a first nam, it is unacceptable that people do not pronounce it correctly especially when they are repeatedly told! NO EXCUSE!

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