I’m at my parents’ place at the moment. Yesterday, I answered the phone; the called said, “Is that Jan?” Jan, my sister, had been staying with my parents for a week and was just about to head home.
I said, “No, it’s Kari.”
“Oh,” said the caller, “Carrie!”
I was so used to this sort of thing that I didn’t even notice what had happened. My sister, on the other hand, did. She could hear the caller’s voice, and she laughed out loud. Admittedly, it’s pretty amusing when someone corrects my pronunciation of my name.
I really don’t understand why people do this. I know some names are difficult to pronounce or remember, and that’s fine; what baffles me is when an otherwise sane person will immediately respond to my name by telling me what it’s supposed to be. Frankly, my name isn’t even that difficult to say. You can pronounce “car,” yes? Then you can pronounce “Kari.” But there seems to be a sort of general disbelief that I am getting my own name right.
When I was a little kid, I would correct people all the time. My dad picked up on this little quirk of mine and called me “Carrie” just to get a rise out of me. I now frequently just let the error stand. It’s too exhausting to go around explaining the proper pronunciation of my name to everyone I meet. And I haven’t even mentioned my surnamed yet. No one can pronounce my surname. Those who try and fail generally ask me why I pronounce it the way I pronounce it. “Because that’s how it’s pronounced” is not a reply that goes over well.
I recognise that mistakes happen and people mishear things. However, I would ask you not to correct the pronunciation of an unusual name immediately after the person to whom it belongs utters it. There’s something just a teeny bit insulting about the whole situation.