Author Topic: Don't you know your own name?  (Read 11375 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Don't you know your own name?
« on: December 15, 2012, 03:36:10 PM »
I've been using the "what an interesting assumption" for this, but I think I need stronger ammunition.

My first name is a common shortened version of a longer name, except that even on my birth certificate, it is the shortened version. Think "Mary" instead of "Maryanne". A surprising number of people, when I introduce myself, respond immediately with "oh, is that short for Maryanne?" to which I reply with a variation of, "no, it's just Mary, even on my birth certificate and Passport! It's a bit unusual, I know. Anyway, <topic change>" and am nearly always interrupted with "are you sure?" or "what about Mary-Lou?" or something. I'll use the old "what an interesting assumption" and bean-dip, but the person will again more often than not not listen and make another name-related comment once I'm done, or blatantly interrupt.

A bizarrely high proportion of people do this. My husband gets it too, but in a different way.

His surname is spelt in a similar way to another surname, along the lines of "Mith" instead of "Smith", except the other surname is very much less common than Smith (so you'd think this wouldn't happen to him as often). When spoken, there are no problems, due to the changed pronunciation, but in writing (emails in particular), we get these gems:

from: client/professional_contact@emailaddress.com
to: firstname_mith@workplaceemail.com
Dear firstname,
Thank-you for your email. Blah blah work-related stuff.
Regards,
client/professional contact
P.S. oh, by the way, you misspelt "Smith"! Don't forget the "S" next time!

This is despite his email address includes his surname. Follow-up emails or conversations have always revealed that this is meant in sincerity. It happens at least once a week.

Anyway, which other strategies might work better for people insisting that you don't know your own name? It's amusing, but quite frankly if I have to have a 5 minute conversation every time this happens, I'm losing two weeks of life or something. Broken-record mode seems to not help much, either.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14006
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 03:43:55 PM »
I have a similar issue.  My name is reasonably common but it is spelled unusually.  My mother spelled it for someone in a cake shop so it could be written on the cake.  She was asked 4 times if she was sure she spelled it correctly.  My exasperated mother finally just said, 'I think I know how to spell my own daughter's name!'

I think I would answer the first 'Are you sure?' with 'Yes, I'm quite sure'.  And if they ask again, just pretend they didn't and carry on with the conversation.  Or maybe get business type cards made up: 'Yes, I'm sure my name is Mary.  Really.  It's on my birth certificate and everything.  Really.  Yes, I'm quite sure.'  And hand them out.   :D
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Pen^2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1107
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 03:51:49 PM »
I have a similar issue.  My name is reasonably common but it is spelled unusually.

Ironically, I work at a place that involves children. Many of the kids have unusually spelt names (Qris instead of Chris etc.) and their parents still have trouble believing my name isn't the common variant.

I think I would answer the first 'Are you sure?' with 'Yes, I'm quite sure'.  And if they ask again, just pretend they didn't and carry on with the conversation.  Or maybe get business type cards made up: 'Yes, I'm sure my name is Mary.  Really.  It's on my birth certificate and everything.  Really.  Yes, I'm quite sure.'  And hand them out.   :D

Unfortunately I already hand out business cards. I've tried pointing the name out on the card and so on, but it has never yet ended up in a shorter conversation.

Would it be rude if I ignored the question entirely and pretended they asked something else?

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11121
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 04:24:17 PM »
I can understand. My name is a common nickname for Anne yet on my birth certificate and all legal documents my name's recorded as Annie.  People who don't want to call me that don't even ask if I'm sure, some don't even seem to care.  I have been called Ann so many times, often by people who have been told "My name is Annie" yet they insist on calling me Ann. 

One teacher even insisted she didn't address people informally, calling all children in her glass by their given names.  Another teacher had no problem calling Matthews "Matt" and Christina's "Christy" but I always got called Ann. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 05:45:08 PM »
For verbal exchanges, I would pick ONE phrase and repeat it, with decreasing orders of cordiality.

E.g. "Oh, is that short for Mary-Anne?"
"No, it's just Mary. On my birth certificate and everything"
"Are you sure?"
"(with a smile) I assure you I know my own name"
""What about Mary-Sue? Is it short for Mary-Sue?"
"(Without a smile) I assure you I know my own name"
and so on. It can go all the way up to the Icy Look of Death, but just keep repeating.

For your DH, I would simply reply "There is no misspelling. My name is Mith." with no embellishments.

FWIW this kind of thing drives me mental. Are people really so arrogant that they assume that you can't remember or spell your own name? My current theory is that a number of people go through life with the default attitude "I cannot possibly ever be wrong" and adjust their reasoning from there. It explains many of the brain hurty conversations I have had.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

JacklynHyde

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 489
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 05:46:35 PM »
TOTALLY get this.  My last name is spelled differently than a common word.  Let's just say it's pronounced Fiddle but spelled Fidle.  I've had people tell me I've misspelled and / mispronounced it.  This is extremely vexing at times, especially the pronunciation corrections.  I calmly explain that my husband's family is Scandinavian and dropped several vowels and a silent "j" somewhere down the road.  If this isn't accepted, I step back from future contact as much as possible.

Dindrane

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15401
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2012, 06:17:32 PM »
I think that for someone who really won't let it go, it's fine to just ask, "Do you really think I don't know my own name?" and then follow up (if they ask what you are talking about) by saying, "You've just spent the past few minutes refusing to believe that my full name is Mary. I can only assume that you think I am unaware of my real name, so clearly this conversation is pointless."

For more normal conversations (in which people are actually willing to believe you within a reasonable amount of time), I would respond with, "No, my full name is Mary." I think that might be a little bit more clear, and certainly takes less time to say. Personally, I'd answer the next couple of questions (if their response is to question me further) by repeating, "No, my full name is Mary -- it's not short for anything." After one or two repetitions, I'd go with the response above as a way to end the line of questioning.

For your husband, I'd suggest responding with something like:

from: firstname_mith@workplaceemail.com
to: professional_contact@emailaddress.com

Dear Professional,
Blah blah work-related stuff.
Regards,
Firstname Mith

P.S. As you can see, my last name does not contain an S. I have not misspelled it.


violinp

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3602
  • cabbagegirl28's my sister :)
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2012, 07:28:55 PM »
I have been told for years I'm spelling my last name wrongly. Everyone wants to spell it in the way it was spelled in Elizabethan times - think "Cheyne" when it's spelled "Shane" now. No amount of explanation will work on the people I've known who are like that. It seems to me that they have something to prove - but what? Surely I, who have lived with my name for 20 + years so far, would know better than a random stranger what my last name is.

I POD the suggestions of previous posters, especially Dindrane's.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


Sneezy

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 704
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2012, 08:21:33 PM »
My first name is a combination of my parents' names. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I'm sure my name isn't something else. This always happened on the first day of school and still happens from time to time.  Grrr.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5659
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 09:12:47 PM »
"Sorry? Did you just ask me if I know what my name is? I'm pretty sure I've got it right as I've had since I was born."

katycoo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3803
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2012, 01:59:18 AM »
My first name is a common shortened version of a longer name, except that even on my birth certificate, it is the shortened version. Think "Mary" instead of "Maryanne". A surprising number of people, when I introduce myself, respond immediately with "oh, is that short for Maryanne?" to which I reply with a variation of, "no, it's just Mary, even on my birth certificate and Passport! It's a bit unusual, I know. Anyway, <topic change>" and am nearly always interrupted with "are you sure?" or "what about Mary-Lou?" or something. I'll use the old "what an interesting assumption" and bean-dip, but the person will again more often than not not listen and make another name-related comment once I'm done, or blatantly interrupt.

Me too, but I respnse "Nope, it's just Mary" and I've never been argued with.  At best I've gotten "OhI don't know anyone else for whom that's their full name."  I am suprised you encounter it so often.

from: client/professional_contact@emailaddress.com
to: firstname_mith@workplaceemail.com
Dear firstname,
Thank-you for your email. Blah blah work-related stuff.
Regards,
client/professional contact
P.S. oh, by the way, you misspelt "Smith"! Don't forget the "S" next time!

This is despite his email address includes his surname. Follow-up emails or conversations have always revealed that this is meant in sincerity. It happens at least once a week.

Anyway, which other strategies might work better for people insisting that you don't know your own name? It's amusing, but quite frankly if I have to have a 5 minute conversation every time this happens, I'm losing two weeks of life or something. Broken-record mode seems to not help much, either.

My surname ends with "IN".  I've habitually typed a "G" on the end many many times.  So typos are certainly not unheard of, even on your own name.

Penguin_ar

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 07:56:56 AM »
I get that too- I am not originally from the USA my name is spelt differently that the way it is commonly spelt in the USA, but pronounced pretty much the same.  So if someone here asks my name they will spell it "wrong".  To be honest, I have pretty much given up- unless it is an official document (DMV / bank etc), I just let them spell it the US way.

Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6717
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 08:18:05 AM »
My last name is fairly rare, even in "country of origin".  I'm more likely to get "you're pronouncing it wrong", because of a misguided idea about how things are pronounced in that language.

poundcake

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1155
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 01:13:20 PM »
I'm with Iris. I get this too, both on the spelling and pronunciation of my name. (Think "Alice," "Al" and "Elise.) I've been repeating "Yes, I'm sure I'm pronouncing my name/spelling my name correctly" for years. No, I know you think it should be Al, but that's not my name. Yes, I'm sure you think it would make more sense to pronounce it "Alice," but that's not my name. Only once did I have to ask "Why do you think I wouldn't know how to spell my own name?" when someone tried the trick similar to the "Mith/Smith" thing with "Don't forget the S next time!" Just a touch of surprise and mild curiosity goes a long way when someone pulls the "Oh, you must mean ____" trick when I give my name. "I've had this name for ___ years. Why would you assume I don't know my own name?"

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21528
Re: Don't you know your own name?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2012, 09:03:19 AM »
The fact that people question the just Mary thing surprises me.  Do you suppose they want to be sure you aren't trying to simplify it for them?  As in "I'll just tell people to call me Mary since they flub various longer versions" Like they wasnt to be sure "Sue" is really just "Sue" and not giving up over Susan/Suzanne frustration?