A Rowse by Any Other Name

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.

25 thoughts on “A Rowse by Any Other Name

  1. I thought your name was pronounced like Kairi from Kingdom Heart:

    Regarding today’s comic: Weird people talking to themselves, is that a regular thing at Tim Hortons?

  2. The blue thing might simply be Casey being out of it. But then again, this is WoB…

    Incidentally, it seems that we’re commenting in the rant thread. Is that on purpose?

  3. No, my name is not pronounced “Kairi.” I’m not sure there is any known language in which “ar” is pronounced to rhyme with “fire.”

    Homeless people have certainly been known to wander into Timmy’s and have conversations with themselves there.

    The blue thing may, in fact, just be crazy talk. You never do know.

  4. Oh great, a date. Are we meant to hold some sort of significance to this date?

    Are you trying to indicate that there are a significant number of people in the population that don’t like creepy people who have a thing for fishnet and handcuffs?

  5. Also are you sure it’s not pronounced Kairi? Don’t be embarrass to admit to mistake now. Or perhaps your name subscribe to the Romeo-Satin style of pronunciation?

  6. August 26, 2011 is the date on which Basil went to Tim Hortons to meet Casey.

    SunshineRain: don’t forget that I actually know your real name. I am entirely willing to mispronounce it at you, then claim that you’re saying it wrong. Just try me.

  7. Well of course you know my real name, it’s in the email that I use to write these comments. Most people pronounce my name like the Dragon Ball Z character that live on a small planet, although incorrect (because of the diacritic on the ‘a’) I have learnt to live with it and usually introduce myself as such. Plus you know, if someone were to try the old “I Know Your True Name” routine I can laugh in their face before decapitat..er.. throw some water in their face.

  8. Me, at a conference where I was asked to introduce the Russian speaker: “How do I pronounce your name?”
    Him: *speaks name*
    Me, being all nervous: *promptly forgets*
    Me, in front of the audience: “This is . Enjoy the talk!”

    To be fair, most people introducing me at talks have the same problem. And even the Dutch are no consolation:

    Them: “What’s your last name?”
    Me: “Van Dittem”
    Them: *write down “Van der Ditten”*

    (Name modified, idea stays the same)

    But now for the serious stuff: where do I type in the password? I want access!

  9. Vincent Price? I haven’t heard that name since they did those parody of him on those TV shows. How old is this Basil fellow?

  10. Well, quite a few of my undergraduate students know perfectly well who Vincent Price is. I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that Basil has heard of him.

    You type the password into the PASSWORD FIELD, of course.

  11. Thank you. 🙂 *makes notes*
    In case you were interested, the way you seem to pronounce it, is the same word for coal or charcoal in the Indian language of Tamil.

  12. I don’t see a post for Jan 30 – Feb 5 on the WoB talk blog at all. Maybe that’s why the comment button is going to the wrong post (it simply being the most recent one)?

  13. Emily: I have no idea what happened there. I did originally create the post. If I hadn’t done so, I couldn’t have copied-and-pasted its address…which I did. It makes absolutely no sense that it should have vanished like that. Ah well. There’s a new one now. Thanks for identifying the problem.

  14. Well, I am back and catching up and here is a strip that I can’t miss – it appears to have my name on it!! How exciting!! And I looooved the week of back to teaching and how I miss your classes! You are the best! What online course are you creating now? And will it be part of my sociology programme?

    I had subscribed to the site and thought emails would follow with updates, but alas – none did.

    So – back to catching up with the gang. Casey continues to be an enigma.

  15. Welcome back, Mimi. Is it this blog you’ve subscribed to? You may want to try again; the blog has only one follower, and that person has been around for a while. The individual comment threads also have some followers; perhaps you subscribed to an individual thread by accident. If you want e-mail updates every time a new strip appears, that’s not a problem, but you’ll need to follow the instructions on the comic’s main page.

    The online course I’m creating at the moment is called “Fairy Tales and Fantasies.” It’s basically the first half of Ryerson’s old two-term kids’-lit course.

    I hope your classes are going well and don’t involve Twilight. And yes, there’s a tiny little picture of Casey in the dictionary under “enigmatic.”

  16. Well, I don’t know what I subscribed to I guess. I posted in another thread also and didn’t get a notification of either of your responses in my email. I have no idea. I will subscribe to the updates of the strip though and then I guess search for the threads I have posted in. I think when I subscribed today to “follow” this thread, it must just have been for this thread. But even so, I wasn’t notified that you had responded. sigh.

    This is what was emailed today – ” Subscribed to WoB Talk!

    Congratulations, you are now subscribed to the site WoB Talk and will receive an email notification when a new post is made.”

    So I have done that twice and no email updates.

  17. Of course they didn’t say *when* I would be notified. Perhaps they are leaving themselves a large window – say – sometime this year. Just saying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s