Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Unique Names

My name, Ariel, has been a source of much difficulty throughout my life. It isn’t spelled like it sounds, and there are at least four widely accepted pronunciations: Ar-ee-uhl, Ar-ee-elle, Air-ee-uhl, and finally, the money: Air-ee-elle.

You would think that because there are four pronunciations, I would get the right one at least 25% of the time. You would be wrong. My name is consistently pronounced incorrectly, regardless of if I’ve introduced myself seconds or years before.

I mention this because on Friday, as I waited to board my plane, another name-gone-wrong led to commotion at gate B23.

The flight attendant repeatedly called over the loudspeaker for a Ms. “Laa,” who never came to claim her seat. An hour later, an angry, large woman approached the counter wondering why her flight was so late. When she presented her ticket, the flight attendant said, “Laa, we called you many times, that plane already departed.” To which the woman replied, “my name is not Laa, it’s Ladasha, spelled ‘La-a’!”

It happened. I kid you not.

I’m not saying that the world needs more Johns and Marys. I’m all for naming kids Rocket, Apple, and Tiger. But please, save your children the time and energy of respelling and re-pronouncing their names. Give them a name that looks like it sounds. It’s good to be unique, but there’s no need to be youneehk.

Advice from Ariel
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

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