Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's your name again?

There's one thing in life that absolutely drives me crazy (well actually there's several but today it's the turn of...)

People who get my name wrong.

I have never, ever had my name shortened.  I have never really even had a nickname.  I have never changed the way my name is pronounced.  My name is Susan.  Not Sue.  Not Suzy.  Not Suzanne.  (oh and not Sharon either, as I often get).

I am astounded at how often I introduce myself as Susan and get a response - oh nice to meet you Sue! Excuse me?  Did I say my name was Sue?  I really don't think Susan is difficult to pronounce or remember - or spell for that matter!    Usually I correct people - because although it might be slightly awkward for them to have it pointed out that they got it wrong  I have decided that this is probably the only thing ever in my life that I am going to own and not have to change, amend or alter for anyone else.  So you can empathise I am sure, when, upon saying, actually it's Susan, not Sue, I am gobsmacked by how often later in the conversation the person will continue to call me Sue.  To me it's rude.  It's a different name to me - I don't see it as a derivative. 

I see nicknames as endearments.  In other words, until I know someone well enough to use one I wouldn't. And I consider a shortened name a nickname.  Now if I am introduced to someone by a shortened version that's a whole different story, but I'm talking here about voluntarily changing a name myself without getting permission of it's owner!

Am I being inflexible and judgemental?  Are you a name shorten er? Or have a habit of mispronouncing - whatever the reason?  

Frankly, I think the very least anyone can do is get someones name right.  Preferably the first time.   It's good business sense, it's good social etiquette and above all it's good manners.  You've been warned:)


Katrina said...

Oh good, it's not just me then....I hate it when people shorten my name...especially when they have just met name is Katrina....Kat is a something only allowed by people very close to's not something I want somebody who has only just met me using

Broot said...

I really really really really really hate it when people shorten my first name. But I've never had the courage to correct the 2 people in my life who still do it. Must buck up, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I know a few Susan's (I can think of 4) they all get called - Sue, Suzy, Susy, Suse...

I know some Elizabeth's...One is definitely an Elizabeth, the others are Liz or Lizzie's.

Think of people around you call all the John's you know Jonathan? Greg's Gregory? Mike's Michael? It's pretty common to shorten names.

My name (Sarah) generally isn't shortened...but, if the odd person calls me Sez, I'm totally fine with it.
If I were Susan - I'd be fine with Sue.....(Maybe not Suzy if I didn't know them well though!!)
Try not to let it bug you!

Good blog - it made me think!!

LG Under the Apple Tree said...

You raise some interesting points. Names as property rights. Personally I like my name to spelt correctly - I have frequently changed my name for various reasons, marriage, feminism, divorce, marketing, affection etc.
However, I inflicted a rather unique name upon my daughter, and for 30 years the quickest way to rile her was to mispronounce her name and/or inquire of its source.She now handles it with grace. I like the idea of choosing your own name at significant times.