Thursday, April 14, 2011

By any other name

This may be so pointless...this week, my ability to discern the wheat from the chaff is kaput.

Because we know each others' names in print, not hearing them spoken, I decided I would tell you that my name is pronounced Mary---Linn, no accent on either syllable.  No question mark, no mysterian.  A call today in which they asked for MAR'ilyn Kelly reminded me it is a name with which that can happen. I went through high school being called Marilyn by some and just let it go, as I did on this call. A small matter...yet as our community becomes more established, there seems a point to being thought of by my actual name, as myself. There, it has been said. In 12 minutes I'll probably ask, What was I thinking?

22 comments:

Elisabeth said...

It's not trite but important, Marylinn. To me it's all about identity,

I'm obsessed with getting the spelling of my name correct, too. That's Elisabeth with an 's'.

To me these things really matter. Your name is about your identity and who you are.

Like you I don't pull everyone up when they spell my name incorrectly, it's an easy mistake and yet, Elizabeth with a 'z' is not me. She's Elizabeth Aquino from 'a moon as if it had been a shell blog' or any other Elizabeth who uses the British spelling of her name and not the European one.

Your name Marylinn with it's somewhat unusual spelling marks you as different from all the Marilyns who exist.

Stick to your guns, insist on your name.

Antares Cryptos said...

The image confused me a little, I meant the pic you chose.:)

Always pronounced it Mary Linn in my head, because of the spelling. I correct people on my name, because really, it's not that difficult. When people insist on getting it wrong, they'll find themselves talking to someone else;)

grrl + dog said...

well it isnt 12 hours yet,

but we are permitted to assert ourselves, especially where it affects our identity.

Glad you did, as in my thought-words you were always MARylinn, so now my thoughts are undergoing re training.

T. Clear said...

Hey Marylinn, I completely get this. I've been T. for many years because my full name, of French derivation, is Therese (with accents that I can't seem to figure out how to add here) and has been massacred for many years.

It's pronounced something like Tay-rez, with lots of gutteral stuff thrown in.

Agree with Elisabeth. No one else possesses the right to tell us how to pronounce/spell our own names!

I once had a pharmacy clerk at Safeway repeatedly "correct" me when I said my name -- he said, "no, it's Theresa."

OMG! I'd apparently been mispronouncing it my entire life!

(Thank you for this moment of distraction and sanity. xxooT.)

Erin in Morro Bay said...

I can't tell you how often my name was mispronounced when I was in school (Erin was an unknown name back in the '50's and '60's) and so often, even now, when I give my name verbally, people will spell it Aaron. And phone calls! I have a low speaking voice, so they assume they're talking to a male anyway. I love to confuse them further; when they ask to speak to the lady of the house I say "I am one of the ladies of the house, would you like to speak to me or my wife Margot?" Great way to get rid of Conservative fund-raisers, LOL!

susan t. landry said...

i am happy that all along i have been saying your name, marylinn, correctly in my head, even tho i have never said it out loud.
marylinn is the name of someone with serious eyes and a slow but generous smile.
and my god, i would kill for the name therese, with two, count them, two, fabulous accent marks. can you imagine a name more ordinary than susan. it's a name like a donkey.
i think, henceforth, i want to be know as "bubbles."

susan t. landry said...

correcting: i want to be known as "bubbles."

Robert the Skeptic said...

I always thought it was Mary_Linn. What I can't figure out is why some people call me Gary??

Jayne said...

Well see, I had it all wrong, so I'm glad you mentioned this. Of course is matters. I've always been Jayne with a y. Sometimes people would pronounce my name Jay-nee. Go figure.
It's amazing how many people I know--I mean, know personally (for many years)--still cannot spell my name with a y!
I'm glad to know how to pronounce your name correctly. :)

Radish King said...

I think I asked you how to pronounce your name on the telephone. I'm glad I did. I cringe at Becky. T. Clear refused to tell me her name when she came to my reading because she thought I was too stupid to pronounce it. I can't remember if this was before or after the reading or whether this made her make her decision. Someone at My Glamorous Job calls me Becca-boo and I don't mind because he reminds me of my son and I'm fond of him. No on ever pronounces my last name correctly.
xo

Radish King said...

ps. I went through a 12 week Dale Carnegie class and 11 weeks of it were spent on learning one another's names. On the last day the instructor introduced me as Rebecca London. Heh. I didn't correct him.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Elisabeth - Thank you and I understand about the spelling, I encounter a similar fate. Even some who have known me for decades...at least split into two words it is pronounced correctly. Our names do have a great deal to do with identity. Knowing you spell your name with an 's' is always in my mind when I write. It matters.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares Cryptos - I think it is about seeing, or having known someone who spelled their name similarly or...who knows. About the photo, I will just plead nolo contendere (or however it is spelled)...it made sense to me at the moment. Without our names, do we become cyphers?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - After a couple years of blogging and encountering more people whose names I'm not sure I'm getting right, it seemed time to say a word or two. Thank you for taking on the retraining. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

T. - If this was a moment of sanity and distraction, you are welcome. I have been known as ML, which was fine, Emmy Lou, which was silly but okay, and I understand the T. completely. Actually, thinking about it, ML would be acceptable. Just not Mary, plain Mary, not because there is anything wrong with it but because it is not me and I'd also forgotten people who called me Mary for years. Ewww. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - One of my early rubber stamps said, "There is no substitute for paying attention." Listen up, folks. And how can Erin be so difficult? Ha ha for a way to let them be uncomfortable. On phone calls if they get my name horribly wrong, I'll say there is no one here by that name.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan (aka Bubbles) - Susan, with no accent marks, is the name of sunshine to me and not a donkey, but we all feel as we do about our names. Serious eyes, probably true, and they likely express my smile. People whose smiles never reach their eyes make me suspicious. Accent marks do have cachet...Anais Nin (no accent marks available on the keyboard)...one always has the option of picking another name.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - Why in the world would anyone call you Gary? That is a mystery.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - I'm glad I mentioned it...that critical voice was trying to shout me down...and yes, the 'y' matters enormously. And such distinctions help make one memorable, set them apart, which I think is something we appreciate and deserve. Individuals. We can't all be called Dweezil Zappa, but we can scootch in a little closer.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rebecca - It wasn't until Kate Zambreno read your poem in the bath that I knew how to pronounce your last name, which is at least part of what inspired this post. To presume 'Becky' as to presume 'Mary" is familiarity that has not been granted, and with Mary it says, too much trouble, too much name. I have yet to hear a Dale Carnegie class story that makes me feel I've missed anything that matters. My maiden name, first, middle, last, was nine syllables long and had to spelled 14 times. xo

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Marylinn
Beautiful is the name that first chose you and that you choose deliberately now, too. I agree with all thoughts already written here - our names are so important; they're more 'inherent' and 'integral' to us than added on like a label or afterthought. Thumbs up, I say, for saying how important both pronunciation and spelling are. The band has this ethos in common, too . . ; )
An e- from me soon. Love meantime, C xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - We are fortunate, indeed, that our band continues on the same wavelength. xoxo