I'm tired of people getting my name wrong

This has pretty much plagued me all my life. My last name could easily be a first name, if only it was spelled slightly differently. All through school teachers would call me by my last name until I corrected them. It got tiring. Then through most of my adult life the problem went away. How refreshing! But now it’s back. It’s happened several times just this week, and in the two last e-mails I got. Mind you, these were replies to e-mails I sent WHERE I SIGNED MY NAME. And in one of them, my last name was misspelled. This was from someone with whom I’ve corresponded many times, and even met once.

Ah well. It’s better than the time when the owner of a pizzeria was convinced that my name was Bob. I corrected him many times, but he wouldn’t budge. He would often greet me with “Hello, Robert!” It got to the point where if I called in an order for takeout, I’d say that my name was Bob, just to be sure I would get the food I ordered.

My last name is six letters long. It’s one syllable. I spell it out for people.

More than half the people I spell it out for read it back to me with entirely different spelling, most typically getting the first letter wrong – the first thing they heard after I offered to spell it and they started paying full attention. A significant subset of these people also stop me in the middle of spelling my name out for them, apparently because they cannot absorb all six letters consecutively. It doesn’t matter whether I am going slowly; sometimes I. go. obnoxiously. slowly. and they still stop me after the first three letters, try to repeat those three back to me, and get them wrong.

Mind you, these are often people who take down names for a living.

It’s a one-syllable name with no weird substitutions like i for y, no strange combinations of consonants like szy, and a single common vowel, not in a strange place. Spelled the way it sounds.

It’s also not a normal English word that could be confusing people, like for example being named Rood and being mistaken for Rude.

I am completely baffled as to why this is so hard for people. How on earth do they handle difficult names?

My last name should be easy. It’s five letters long. Two syllables. Consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant. According to the rules of phonics we all learned in first grade, the pronunciation on that first vowel should be long, right? Like in the word “boner.” You wouldn’t say “Man, I’ve got a total BON-ner after seeing your grandmother’s underwear drying on the line.” No, you’d say it gave you a BO-ner.

And yet my name frequently gets the equivalent of the BON-ner treatment.

My last name is a first name too. So, every once in a while…

Maybe YOU wouldn’t.

I was once picking up a prescription at the pharmacy. Let’s just say that my last name is Will.

Pharmacist: Last name?
Me: Will.
Her: Oglethorp?
Me: Will.
Her: Little Cloud?
Me: Will.
Her: Sanchez?
Me: Will. W-I-L-L.
Her: B-Z-Q-P?
Me: W…
Her: S?

This went on for quite some time. Her mirroring back was not even in the same ball park. I think I eventually wrote it down for her. She still looked in the bin under the wrong letter. C, I think.

I think the only teacher I ever had who got it right was my high school math teacher, Judson Stuart. He’d been through it a few times himself, you see.

My last name is misspelled on caller ID and in the phone book. It’s correct with the phone company, and I’ve not bothered to try to figure out how to get it changed.

The weird thing is that the name has a silent “d” in it. But that’s not what is wrong with the spelling (that’s usually what’s wrong with the spelling). The D is there, but the single vowel is wrong.

I’ve only gotten one piece of junk mail with this misspelling on it. Oddly enough, it was an advertisement for clothing and knick-knacks personalized with my last name :slight_smile:

Me too! There is currently a bulletin board up with my name on it, where my first name is incorrect. It fills me with a steady pulse of minor annoyance. Unfortunately there are several variations on my first name, and people just can’t seem to remember the correct one when addressing me.

At least my last name (and the middle name which is a family surname) are very easy. I consider myself lucky because both of my grandmothers (whose parents were immigrants) have changed the spelling of their surnames over the course of their lives due to Americans being unable to pronounce them.

My name is a common name among Catholics of many nationalities. Depending on which nationality, of course, there are variants (e.g. Michael / Michel / Miguel).

My name happens to be the French variant. Here in the US, the English and Spanish variants are apparently more common. I’ve learned to answer to any of the three. Note that this even happens when people HAVE THE NAME PRINTED OUT right in front of their eyes. :smack:.

These would be a lot more fun to read if you folks would tell us your names. I know that’s not a good idea, of course. I’m just sayin’. It’s like lip-reading, trying to get the joke.

I live in Japan, and sometimes folks get a bit nervous and assume they will not understand anything coming out of the white chick’s mouth. One time I asked for “ketchup” and the girl at the counter responded, “ice?” Ha!

People call think my name is Kayla so often that even here on the SDMB, on multiple occasions people have quoted my posts (including my name) and then addressed me as Kayla. I’m like “it’s four letters long and you just quoted it. Seriously?”

I would estimate that 75% of the time, people I’ve only briefly been introduced to think my name is Kayla. Like:

Me: Hi, I’m Kyla, nice to meet you.
Person: Hey Kayla, I’m [Person].


Person: Hey, we met last week at [someone]'s party. Kayla, right?

I’m used to it. I just correct them and laughingly brush off any apologies as it not being a big deal. But the truth is that it does get annoying.

Wow…I’m with you man. My last name is, from what information I can gather, a common Italian last name, and a common Spanish first / last name. EVERYONE inserts an R where there shouldn’t be one. When they insert the R, my last name sounds like it starts with a (somewhat) common first name. It’s at the point that my father’s army nickname was this first name, since everyone screwed it up.

Me too. Except it’s a dude first name and, well, I’m about as prissy and girlie as you can get. You’d think this would stop people, but it does not.

My name is Chad. These guessing game threads irritate the shit out of me.

You would assume that having a three letter name (I go by Ale, short of Alejandro*) people would easily get it the first time but nooooo…

-Ah-leh… easy, isn’t it?.
Some time later
-Oh, hello Ali/Aille/Alale!


*Sometimes I wonder if I should blurt out the full thing when meeting new people, but by the way most seem to struggle with “Ale” I’m afraid they’ll have a seizure or something.

Hi Chuck, how you doin’?

Silly, his name Everett.

Most 13 to 19 year old girls would get your name right away. And be able to spell it.

Annoying yes, but a good telephone solicitor screening technique. If someone asks for Mr. (Lastname pronounced incorrectly) I can be reasonably sure that I will be solicited. My response will vary by mood. And yes, call display helps there, too.

Also not sharing last names with my wife is a big help there as well. If someone asks for Mr. (Wife’s lastname) or Mrs (My lastname (pronounced incorrectly)) we know the jig is up.

My first and last name are five letters and are constantly misspelled or mispronounced at me. Granted, my legal first name is much longer, but I never go by it. It’s on my e-mail, but I always make it a point to sign off with my nick.

And it’s an easy nick, but like Sailboat, spelling it I may as well be talking Hebrew for all they understand.

And then, my last name is also a boy’s first name, so I get that once in a while. Especially over e-mail! I’ll sign it


And I get called by my last name as though it were my first.

This is our curse people, and we may as well just live it.