I don’t think this rises to the level of a great debate, but I’m not wedded to the notion of it being in IMHO either. Mods, if you want to move it, that’s cool.
My RL given name, while fairly common now, was fairly uncommon when I was in kindergarten, and I got teased because of it. Perhaps because of that, or perhaps for simple reasons of aesthetics, I’ve never cared for the sound of it. Consequently, when I moved out of the house for college, attending a school where none of my high school friends were going, I made a semi-deliberate decision to go by a diminuative of my last name. (“Semi-deliberate” because I didn’t actually make it up; I intended to just go by my last name, but the first time I sold a story and had a byline, my editor told me I was not the Pope and needed a first name, and thus she made one up.) At this point in my life, if I hear my given name I know it must be coming from (a) someone who knew me before age 18, or (b) someone trying to sell me a time-share.
My little sister, whose given name was consistenly butchered from kindergarten to 12th grade, made the same decision when she attended a (different) college, and as a result when we meet each other’s friends, we often get incredulous responses: “Your mama gave y’all the SAME NAME? Weird.”
Anyway … the fact that lil sis and I have abandoned our Christian names bothers one of our older sisters. She feels that our parents CHOSE to name us what they did, and consequently that we’re slapping Mom & Dad in the face by using nicknames. Moreoever, whenever someone realizes what my real first name is, they generally react with “But that’s a pretty name!” (To which I respond “Feel free to give it to your son. I personally can’t stand it.”)
All of which leads me to the dual points of this post:
How many of you dopers have abandoned your given names for a nickname, and why?
Would you be offended if one of your children made it clear that he or she simply couldn’t stand the name you gave him or her?