Etiquette School is in session! > "What an interesting assumption."

Don't you know your own name?

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elephantschild:
In some cases ... I wonder if the "I know your name better than you!" thing isn't, in part, a backlash reaction to how much more common unusually spelled names seem to be these days.

My cousin chose to name her daughter a relatively common name with an, err, unique spelling. Think  ... oh, Emmilee instead of Emily. Cue lots of behind-doors eye-rolling from my parents and DH (who would never dream of exactly saying anything to her, but were rather appalled) ... and apparently not-so-behind-doors comments from others, because I've seen people post "When are you going to start spelling that baby's name right?" on Facebook. (Usually followed by "LOL!" But still.)

So I could see some of these comments (on first names, anyway) being a PA move by those who think names need to be more traditional. Not that it makes them less rude! But it makes more sense than people honestly believing you don't know how to spell your own name. :P

Mental Magpie:

--- Quote from: elephantschild on January 03, 2013, 10:07:05 PM ---In some cases ... I wonder if the "I know your name better than you!" thing isn't, in part, a backlash reaction to how much more common unusually spelled names seem to be these days.

My cousin chose to name her daughter a relatively common name with an, err, unique spelling. Think  ... oh, Emmilee instead of Emily. Cue lots of behind-doors eye-rolling from my parents and DH (who would never dream of exactly saying anything to her, but were rather appalled) ... and apparently not-so-behind-doors comments from others, because I've seen people post "When are you going to start spelling that baby's name right?" on Facebook. (Usually followed by "LOL!" But still.)

So I could see some of these comments (on first names, anyway) being a PA move by those who think names need to be more traditional. Not that it makes them less rude! But it makes more sense than people honestly believing you don't know how to spell your own name. :P

--- End quote ---

Regarding the comments you've seen on Facebook followed by "LOL!"...I do things like that to my BFF all of the time.  She'll tell me about something that exasperates her, then I'll go out of my way to do it to her, making sure she knows I'm teasing, and we laugh about it together.  She does the exact same thing to me.  Maybe that's why people are doing that on your cousin's Facebook wall rather than being PA.


I get both of my names misspelled a lot.  I would be absolutely floored if someone accused me of spelling my own name incorrectly.  I would probably wind up being icy in a bid not to be sarcastic (which is my default, but I'm working on that).  It's like when people tell me that my last name isn't of German origin (it very clearly is...think someone saying Sauer is just a misspelling of Sawyer and that it is really an English name rather than a German one).  Really?  My grandpa never realized he wasn't from Germany but rather England and that he had been speaking English all of that time?!  Yeah, that's how I used to react (and not just in my head).  I think "What an interesting assumption" is a perfect response to keep me from being rude.

Mika:
My first name is Michaela. I work in customer service over the phone. I get lots of comments about how that's not how my name is spelled (and lots of mispronunciations when customers call back and can't remember how to pronounce it).

I think my absolute favorite was the women who kept calling to speak to Uber Boss. Uber Boss was always busy when she called, and I always told her she was more then welcome to leave a voicemail. She never did. Just tried to get out of me when he would be in the office and not in a meeting. I kept telling her I wasn't sure as he was a very busy man but she was more then welcome to leave a voicemail and he would call her back. She never left one.

So one day she calls and gets frustrated with me not allowing her to speak to him (because he wasn't THERE) and demands to know if he had a secretary. By that point I had already had a conversation with Uber boss about the woman and determined we weren't interested in what she was trying to speak to him about. This is how the conversation wen.

Me: I am his secretary, how can I help you?
Her: Oh, well *insert sales pitch here for a service we had considered using but decided against two weeks prior*
Me: That won't be something we're interested in as we have decided to handle it ourselves.
Her: Oh. *flustered* Well can I get your name please?
Me: It's Michaela
Her: How is that spelled?
Me: Michael with an A on the end.
Her: Oh *laughs* Were your parents expecting a BOY?
Me: *icily* No. They were not. Have a good day. *hangs up*

I'm named after a (FEMALE) friend of my mother's who was murdered just a couple of months before I was born. And in actuality, my parents weren't expecting me to LIVE.

Goodness:
The assumptions about names can actually be helpful in weeding out those who pretend they know you -- usually telemarketers -- from those who really do. My father's name was Jack. That wasn't a nickname; his name was Jack. And his last name was Holman. This caused no end of confusion. When he got a (frequent) call from someone asking for "John Coleman" he'd just say "Since you obviously don't know my name, I see no reason to talk to you." And he'd hang up.

emwithme:

--- Quote from: Goodness on January 27, 2013, 07:59:25 PM ---The assumptions about names can actually be helpful in weeding out those who pretend they know you -- usually telemarketers -- from those who really do. My father's name was Jack. That wasn't a nickname; his name was Jack. And his last name was Holman. This caused no end of confusion. When he got a (frequent) call from someone asking for "John Coleman" he'd just say "Since you obviously don't know my name, I see no reason to talk to you." And he'd hang up.

--- End quote ---

My BFF has a relatively difficult to pronounce* surname.  Over the years, she's had some real howlers come back at her.  She accepts that people may not get it totally right in the first instance but once she's dealt with someone, she would hope they would realise the (simple) method for getting it right. 

If telemarketers call, we can tell whether they're "cold calling" because they generally have no clue on how to pronounce it.  She then takes appropriate action (there are many occasions when she's been "out" even when she's answering the phone herself!)

*It's of French origin.  It's so rare in the UK (and, indeed, the world) that if you have this surname, you're related to her!

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