By Stephanie Ciccarelli
July 24, 2012
Do you know what it is like to have someone mispronounce your name?
If you grew up with a name that was hard to say or was pronounced differently from how it appeared in writing, you probably have experienced many instances where your name was said incorrectly.
How does being addressed properly affect us and do these sort of things really matter?
Share your stories in today's VOX Daily.
The name you were given at birth has great significance. Your parents chose it for you, you grew up being called by your name and because you respond to your name when called upon, the way your name is said has an impact on you.
If you're like me, your name may have been common enough that instances of being called something other than your proper name were few and far between. I, Stephanie, can remember being called Stephan (or Stephen) once or twice by supply teachers because the attendance lists they were reading off of were truncated. Even though it was an honest mistake, it wasn't my name and it didn't feel good to be called by a boy's name and have the class laugh.
Ever since then, I've made a point to always call people by their proper names, and if I don't know how to say their name, I ask them how to say it so that I don't mess it up. A person's name is so important and when you say it properly, you afford that person the dignity they rightfully deserve; to have their name, something of great meaning, said in a way that honors them.
Perhaps I am just very particular or maybe its because I know how it feels and wish to save someone else the embarrassment. Either way, when you cradle someone's name on your lips, you need to be careful.
Think about this as a voice actor. You say the names of people and companies in many of the scripts you read. Attention to detail of this sort matters more than mere words can express.
Over the years, I have seen three different ways that people respond to their names being said incorrectly.
1. They gently correct the person saying their name.
2. They dismiss it altogether and don't point the error out.
3. They say that it doesn't matter what you call them, so long as it is close.
4. They supply you with an alternative that is easier to say.
One gentleman I met at a conference came from an Asian background. As he handed his business card to me, he said his name and then quickly offered that I could call him something else, an easier English name that most of his friends identify him by. I told him, No, you keep saying your name until I've got it! I want to call you by your name because names are very important.
I learned how to say his name by breaking it down in syllables and the aid of some rhyming words to get the vowels right. When I had finally got it, he was so pleased! From what I could see, my willingness to call him by his name and not compromise on recognizing who he was meant a lot to him.
Have you struggled with people saying your name incorrectly? What have you done to help others say your name?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
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