whats in a name

Have you ever wanted to change your name? If you could, what would you change it to? I have a friend who changed her name after college – from Ruthann to Anna. It took me about 3 years to finally remember to say Anna. I have another friend whom I was introduced to as Jackie but now wants to be called Jacqueline because it sounds more mature. And I have another friend that I knew back in grade school whose mother calls him Tony but when he went to live with his dad changed his name to Bruce (his full name is Bruce Anthony, btw – and I still think of him as Tony to this day.)

For a little biblical reference, here, when people in the bible change names it is often a very significant thing. Example: Abram to Abraham – the name changes from “exalted father” to “father of a multitude”.

My mom has heard me bemoan my name for years now. Not because I actually hate my name, but because it is always mispronounced and misspelled. Always. In fact, I got in trouble with a manager once because he continually called me “ton-ja” (with the “j”). So I started calling him something awful (it is not really difficult to completely mispronounce a French name) and he got very angry. So I calmly explained that if he were to start pronouncing my name properly then I would do the same to him. I don’t think it was that conversation as much as the fact that it took place in front of his wife that actually prompted a correct pronunciation, but I would like to think that he was polite enough to reciprocate.

Anyway, it never ceases to amaze me how many people get it wrong. Case in point: my physical therapist appointment yesterday:

At least the therapist was nice enough to know she was confused and went with something she could pronounce properly the first time: my last name.

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One thought on “whats in a name

  1. Mom says:

    If I thought this was a ‘real’ problem, I would apologize. However, beside the point of me making up your name when I was 10 or 11 years old, if you had a ‘common’ name like Carol, for example, maybe you would appreciate something a little unusual and/or exotic. And yet again, maybe not.

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