Posted in Today's File

“Hello My Name Is”

This morning a customer didn’t bother to tell me his name, just went straight to spelling it.

Yeah, it was one of THOSE names. Not as confounding as some, but definitely not one I would have gotten right without having him spell it out.

My sister and I grew up with a maiden name we always had to spell.

Now she’s a Jones and I’m a Smith!

On the other end of the phone my customer laughed with me, and then said, “Mine’s Italian. It means ‘eat goat’.”

I couldn’t help myself. “That’s awesome! EAT GOAT.”

Next time someone upsets me, that’s what I’ll say. “Hey! You. Eat goat!”

I have a tenant who has a very long name with very few vowels that ends in -wczyk. It occurs to me that he has never said his name to me either. It’s like a secret password that only the chosen can know…

In my maiden-name days, that’s how I used to screen for telemarketers: if a caller correctly pronounced the name, I didn’t immediately hang up. “Smith” doesn’t lend itself to that kind of screening…

Although there was the one time a phlebotomist labeling my blood sample asked me how to spell it. I was so taken aback I just blurted “Smith!” again, because isn’t that word self-explanatory for a native speaker of English?

I should have told her to eat goat.

Author:

I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

2 thoughts on ““Hello My Name Is”

  1. I don’t skip saying mine before I launch into spelling it, but the having to spell it is such second nature that sometimes it feels like part of how I actually say my name.

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    1. I can relate! And with a slightly different twist: after years of introducing myself daily by saying, “Hi I’m Kana—I’m an alcoholic,” I have, on several occasions, blurted out that whole phrase when I had actually meant only to introduce myself. As you say about the added spelling, it can feel like part of the name. (Fortunately I’m not one who tries to HIDE that I’m a recovering alcoholic, so I’m not upset by the unintended disclosure… But it does make for a socially awkward moment when the other party doesn’t know what to DO with that! 😆 Luckily for all of us, Laughter cures all!)

      Liked by 1 person

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