Author Topic: Correcting people on the spelling of your name  (Read 6309 times)

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MiseryLovesYou

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Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« on: October 12, 2012, 03:41:22 PM »
I have a work situation I would like some feedback on please.  Let's say my name is Victoria, but I usually go by Vicky.  At work, my email signature clearly states "Vicky".

What is the etiquette of correcting people when they address me as "Vicki" in an email instead of with my preferred spelling of "Vicky"?  Most times I don't bother to correct people at all because the frequent offenders are people who are fairly passive aggressive, so I assume they are doing it intentionally and correcting them isn't going to change their lifelong habits.  I tried to not be cynical about their motivations, telling myself that since Victoria doesn't have a Y in it, they are assuming it must end with an I and just haven't noticed that every. single. email. from me states "Vicky", but its one of those things that is really demeaning in my opinion.

At one point I was correcting people the first time I saw them do it, but the PA people just kept on doing it, and the people who had made a genuine oversight were so overly apologetic that I felt like I was being too sensitive for bringing it up.

So what's a gal to do here?  Suggestions for a way to bring attention to it, remedy it, and let people know I'm not mortally offended but they are spelling my name wrong?  Wordsmithing suggestions welcome!

pixel dust

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 03:57:39 PM »
I've got the same problem, but with my proper name, not my nickname.

My name is "Meghan" with an "H". I often get correspondences addressed to "Megan", "Meagan", "Megyn" and various other spellings. Honestly, it bothers me a little bit, but not enough to correct the person. The people who do misspell my name are normally clients who I work with for a week or two and then they're gone so it's really not worth it to get huffy over my name being misspelled.

I've never actually corrected someone over email about the spelling of my name (I normally gloss over the salutation of emails anyways), but when I'm spelling it out for someone over the phone/in-person, I always over-emphasize the "H" to ensure they spell it correctly.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 04:10:50 PM »
I'm of two minds.  I think that you have the right to have your name pronounced and spelled correctly and people should abide by your wishes once they know.  However, they are not misspelling your given name, but your nickname instead.  In this case, I don't think its a big deal.

I don't think that you are too sensitive for bringing it up, you have a preferred way of being addressed and you let people know.  If they fall all over themselves apologizing, that's on them, not you.

DavidH

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 04:21:04 PM »
I think it's fine to nicely say, I spell my name David not Davyd, since it really isn't too much to ask.  I wouldn't assume it's PA, since it doesn't get you anywhere and ignoring someones PA behavior is about the most you can really do.  I'd consider whether a spell checker might be "fixing" it or not.  In general, I'd give someone more of a pass on misspelling an unusual name or one with multiple, common spellings (Jon vs. John).

gingerzing

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 04:46:19 PM »
I totally get this*. 
I have a slightly unusual name which is similar to two other more common names AND it is can be spelled with a "C" or a "K".

Even went I sign my name (with a C, thanks)  I get people who spell it with a K or who use one of the common names.  Possibly they think my name is a short version of the common name (it isn't and it isn't THAT much shorter.)

I just keep signing emails with my correct name.  Even reply comments that I wouldn't usually sign my name, I will put my name on them.

*Not so much at work any more, though occasionally.  I have had the problem more at the church that we have been going to.  About 1/3 of the people that I know at church call me by one of the common names.  And one of the pastors insists that my name starts with a K when he emails the house.  (It now just cracks me up.  Especially since the pastor apologizes every time he does it.) 

jmarvellous

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 05:00:36 PM »
I was at my last job for 6 years and a co-worker (a fellow editor) came up to me in the last week to apologize for misspelling my name in a department-wide email. I just said, "Thanks for noticing" and we had a laugh about how he did that in EVERY email for the last 6 years. I gave up long ago.

My first day at my current job, my key had a Post-it on it with my name misspelled. I just asked, "I don't want to make a big deal of it, but I want to be sure my name is right in your computer system. Is it?"


Long story short: It's mostly seen negatively to correct people on nonessential things, so I mostly let it lie. I only correct people if the misspelling is on something official or if it's going out to strangers who might spread the error more widely.

Thipu1

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2012, 10:14:15 AM »
I'm not sure I agree with marvellous on this.

A person's preferred name is not a trivial thing.  To the outside world, a name is part of someone's identity.  Getting it right is important.

violinp

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2012, 11:50:13 AM »
I'm not sure I agree with marvellous on this.

A person's preferred name is not a trivial thing.  To the outside world, a name is part of someone's identity.  Getting it right is important.

Exactly. I suppose it could be phonetically correct to spell my name Beonka (Bianca), but that's not my name, and I would definitely address it in a timely fashion.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


jmarvellous

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2012, 05:48:52 PM »
Oops, typing on my phone, left out a word: incessantly.
I will surely correct people once, maybe twice, but I won't waste a ton of time if people we determined to be careless or just can't spell.

SamiHami

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2012, 06:33:38 PM »
Add me to the list of folks with a name that has multiple spellings. I always gently correct people. In the case of people who stubbornly refuse to spell it correctly, I have found it to be fairly effective to deliberately start spelling their name differently. Some of them see it for what it is and quietly correct themselves, in which case I go back to their correct spelling. Others that correct me get a reminder that they have been spelling my name wrong as well. That always works for me.

It's my name, it's only five letters long, it shouldn't be that difficult for people to get right.

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Slartibartfast

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 06:40:39 PM »
Babybartfast's name is Sonja.  There are other ways to spell it (Sonia and Sonya being the most common), but really only one way to pronounce it.  Therefore anyone who sees the written version should know how to say it, right?

Yeah, no.  I grew up in a very Germanic area of the country and everyone there knows the J --> Y thing and how to do a pure "o" sound.  Down here in the Bible belt, nobody does pure vowels even in the best circumstances and lots of people don't know J can make two sounds.  Babybartfast gets called Sawn-ya, Sawn-jah, Sahn-yuh, Sahn-juh, Sahn-jay, and a whole host of variations.  She's old enough the hear the difference now, but not old enough to show tact:

"No, my name is SONJA!  Mommy, why is she calling me Sawn-juh?  That's not my name!  My name is S-O-N-J-A!  Sonja!"

PastryGoddess

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 08:19:12 PM »
If I remember correctly OP is annoyed by people spelling her nickname incorrectly, not her actual name.  So from what I read, there is no issue in the pronunciation, just that she would prefer that they spell her nickname with a "Y" and not an "I".

mbbored

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 08:53:10 PM »
If I remember correctly OP is annoyed by people spelling her nickname incorrectly, not her actual name.  So from what I read, there is no issue in the pronunciation, just that she would prefer that they spell her nickname with a "Y" and not an "I".

I don't think it matters if it's a nickname or not, it's how the OP identifies herself.

I also go by a nickname that people frequently get wrong and it really is frustrating that people don't even pay enough attention to see how I prefer to be called. If I'm dealing with someone over me, I sometimes include a line to the effect of "By the way, just so I'm in your contacts correctly, I write my name as Mary Ann, not Marianne." If it's a peer who I have a good relationship with, I've been known to add a post script saying "As a fair warning, my name is Mary Ann, not Marianne. Horrible things have been known to happen to those who get it wrong."

Chickadee

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2012, 09:21:15 PM »
Ironically, my name is Victoria and my nickname is Vicki. Most people spell my name incorrectly, either Vickie or Vicky, but it really doesn’t bother me. I am me regardless of how someone else spells my name. The most unusual spelling I ever saw was Vycki.

I used to get a little annoyed at work when people misspelled my name in an e mail since my address was vicki@mycompany.com, and I would wonder why they could spell it correctly in the address line, and then start the e mail with “Hi Vickie..”.   ::) Then I realized that using the auto fill feature for addresses meant they usually only had to type the first two letters or so. I just figured they used the spelling that they were more familiar with. Sometimes, especially at work, people get busy and just don’t think. I never really got the feeling that anyone was purposely misspelling my name just to be passive aggressive.

I did have a phone conversation with one man, though, who thought I was being “hoity-toity” (his words) by providing him with the correct spelling of my name when I gave him my e mail address. He commented that I seemed very particular regarding how my name is spelled. I told him that it really didn’t matter to me how he spelled it, but if he wanted me to actually receive his e mail then he needed to use the spelling that I provided.

This might be something that you simply have to overlook, if you can.

Only me

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Re: Correcting people on the spelling of your name
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2012, 01:06:49 AM »
HI

I have this also. People try to call me by a common nickname but I don't like it. Conversation usually goes:
OP: Hi xx
Me: Hi XXXXXX. I don't like xx. (polite light tone)
OP: Sorry.

Everyone has a story about their name and mine will come down to if you can't call me by my correct name, then I don't answer. I'm not rude and the person will have been warned about 2-3x. Mostly others are really good about it.

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