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

Don't you know your own name?

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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.

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:


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

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

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.

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.

"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."


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