Tuesday, November 17, 2009

T-O-M (or, spelling mishaps)

There's a scene in one of my favourite movies, Being Julia where Julia (Annette Benning) asks young gentleman how to spell his name. He replies "T-O-M...Tom" and they're all terribly embarrassed by the faux pas, as you would be in 1930s London.

I suppose not knowing someones name means you're allowed to ask how to spell it. That doesn't really enrage me (surprised?) but what does irritate me is when people who have known me for years, or people who have no connection to me (doctors, stores, UNIVERSITY) spell my name wrong and act offended when I correct them. The attitude seems to be "what's in a name?"

Well. A lot. I'm a Madeleine. That's M-A-D-E-L-E-I-N-E. You can bring nominative determinism into if you like - MAD by name, mad by nature. The three E's are VERY VERY important. And so is there placement. I have been a Madeline. A Madelein. A Madeliene. Look, they're all perfectly acceptable. But they aren't me.

I can't quite work out why I get so annoyed about it. Does this happen to anyone else, or is it just my fault being beset by parents who like to over complicate things?

Sometimes, I wish they'd stuck with the name they had for me when I was in utereo.

They used to call me Og.

Even then, I'd probably be asked how many 'g's.


Gosh, what a wonderful day today was - found out that my health has drastically improved (!), found a decent translation of Notre Dame de Paris (!!), went to the KIT Christmas launch (!!!) where they gave me and Claudia 20 Cupcakes (!!!!) came home to a bouncing puppy (!!!!!), watched Being Julia (!!!!!!) and will go to sleep on CLEAN SHEETS (!!!!!!!!!) (sleeping on clean sheets = brilliance. pure brilliance)


Chris Stokes said...

I've got an easy to spell name, the most conventional way of spelling the name, so I don't get people misspelling it. But anybody that gets offended at being corrected is silly, and you're right to correct them and they're wrong to get uppity about it. Next time, overestimate their age and when they correct you insist that they look ten years older.

Childish and not really the same thing, but I'm pretty sure they'll feel as irritated as you do by their spelling your name wrong.

Will you get trapped in the clean sheets?

Andi B. Goode said...

Hello there - followed the link to your blog from Amanda Atkins' blog (I'm the other one who won the giveaway =])
Oh, I get annoyed when people mispronounce my name. I can understand if you have only seen 'Andrea' written and may think it's pronounced Ondrea but when I actually say it and people say it back to me, incorrectly, I just can't understand it! I've also been called Angela on numerous ocassions. What frustrates me, too, is when people, on the internet, spell 'Andi' as Andie or Andy when they can clearly see I have written it as Andi. It's bizarre!
-Andi x

lizzle said...

Yay for common-as-dirt first names! Boo for obvious spelling surnames that people still ask you to spell because they're retarded.

And boo for silent letters in surnames.