Friday, July 2, 2010

Oh, What An Interesting Name You Have!

It has come to my attention that a couple of great nieces, whose middle name is Guenveur, have decided that they want to go by that name instead of the perfectly normal, easily spelled and pronounced names they already have been going by; lovely names, in fact, both of them. Obviously, they are of limited experience so far in their young lives. They have not had to introduce themselves to many people, or had to leave phone messages to business contacts.

They have not yet experiences that dead stop in social discourse, after being introduced, by having to pronounce the name several times, then being asked to to spell it out, resulting in being called Gwenver or Guinivere. They have not had to explain how they got that name, and what nationality it is. That have not had to deal with twits who giggle the next time they meet you and say that they just can't pronounce your name and would you tell them again? They have not yet been called, besides the misnomers already mentioned, Groover. Gunvor Govnor, Janvier (I am called this by a woman I have know for over 40 years), Gwen, Genver, Genvier, Gunnat - and a lot of other words that begin with "G" and end with "r." When you're working and have to meet a lot of people, it can be a big time waster.

And people always say, "What an INTERESTING name.!" Well, I guess that it might seem interesting if you don't have to struggle with it every time you meet someone. It's a great name for a hermit or a recluse. I expect the young ladies currently thinking of using that name think that's would be a great thing, to have an INTERESTING name. After thousands and thousands of times of the above results of having that name, I think they will find it not so interesting.

When I was in the third grade I decided to go by my first name (yes, Guenveur is my middle name, but it was the name I was called by from birth), which is Anne. Unfortunately, when the teacher called for Anne, I didn't respond. Then when I was in the ninth grade, new to high school, I decide to try spelling it Genver, not realizing that it was the "u" that made the hard "g", and sweet sister Eudora (now there's a name for ya) pronounced it "Jenver", thus leading Teddy Angelo, a no-neck football player, to call me Gennabee for the rest of my high school days. He was the only one to call me that, but I switch back to the usual damned spelling, and pronouncing and explaining.

It's a great middle name; it was my father's middle name and he used it until his college days when he switched to his first name, Sidney, and never looked back. I don't know if one is defined by a name, but I am who I am and would have been the same if I'd had the name my father wanted me to have: Sarah Jane. I would have been much less cranky about that name and I have always known that had I been named Sarah Jane, I would have been a perfectly splendid Sarah Jane.


SallyB said...

Well, I also find myself spelling, over and over again, B as in Boy-U-R-N as in Nancy-E-L-L, and I still get people asking, "Burnett? Brunell? Can you spell that again, please?" It's not that hard of a name to spell, and yet, people manage to mangle it all the time. I've gotten letters addressed with our last name spelled at least a half a dozen different ways, even after I have carefully spelled it out for people. I don't get what is so danged hard about Burnell!

Word verification: spedl, maybe this is text-ese for "speed dial" or something way beyond me......

dianne said...

so ... is your name pronounced like Denver, but with a hard G?

i have always liked my name, but no one ever spells it my mother's way and people always want to shorten it to Di (which sounds like "die" to me - who wants to be called Die?!?) ... i used to want my crossed-over-before-i-was-born Aunt Corina's name - but then i discovered that she hated it and called herself Kaye ... too bad she died before the song came out, huh?