(Closed) Microaggressions -what do you do when people insist on mispronouncing your name?

posted 8 years ago in Names
Post # 17
Member
239 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I hate when the Starbucks people spell my name wrong on the damn cup I couldn’t imagine friends saying my name wrong all the time!!

Post # 20
Member
2597 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@VegasSukie:  Hmmm.  As to the problem itself, I think you should do one of two things.  Either correct them Every. Single. Time they mispronouce your name until they stop OR, tell them kindly but firmly, “You know, we’ve known each other for some time now.  I realize I have an unusual name that can be difficult to pronouce but it would mean a great deal to me if you would make the effort to do so.  My name is X,  not Y.  Please call me X.” 

Their reaction should tell you all you need to know.  If they apologize and learn to pronouce your name, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t intending to be offensive. 

If they don’t – or dismiss or ignore your request, cut them out. 

My only caution would be that if your name is truly difficult for people and not just unusual, be patient.  My last name is unusual (Russian) and really not that hard to pronouce but people butcher it all the time because they really just don’t know how to say it – even when I pronouce if for them.  Don’t assume people are being aggressive or dismissive – there could be other explanations. 

Post # 21
Member
3772 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@VegasSukie:  I have faith in you! 

Post # 22
Member
1594 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Both my maiden and married last names are not the least bit common and equally as hard to pronounce and spell. I expect people to say my name wrong so that doesn’t bother me but if I’m working with you for a long time or we’re good friends and you don’t even attempt it, I can get bothered.

It’s just part of my life.  Plus, I know I butcher people’s names but at least I try and apoligize

Post # 23
Member
644 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I don’t know how unusual my name is (Cora) but people really struggle with it, it has never bothered me. I will just tell them the real way to pronounce it and if they can’t seem to “get it” I ignore it. My last name is impossible but again doesn’t bother me. Sometimes people just don’t care to “learn” and heck I’ve heard people misprounce SMITH before…

Post # 24
Member
2851 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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@VegasSukie:  Wow. Okay then…they’re just crappy friends! I don’t know how confrontational you are, but you could always tell them that, while you enjoy their company for the most part, it has gotten to the point where you are too offended by their unwillingness to learn your name that you can no longer spend time together.

I do like that phonetic nametag thing tho!

Or…start pronouncing their names wrong and see how they like it!

Post # 25
Member
9940 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree, names are so important!  I had a teacher in the fourth grade who always tried to “nickname” me because a lot of people do shorten my name and end it with “ie”.  I told her all the time to please not call me that, it wasn’t my name, but she did it anyway.  I still hate that bitch, lol.

Post # 26
Member
3457 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Names are a big deal, but it’s possible they can’t hear the difference (different languages use different sounds) or have difficulty with names.  For me, if someone is genuinely trying (I have a unique name that on first blush, only 1 person every two years says right…and they are generally not from my own country!), that’s good enough for me.  I don’t get insulted, even if it may be frustrating (and I’ve had people say it wrong for years).

It took me forever to learn how to say my good friend Malini’s name properly.  (Games suggest “Melaine but with a MAL in the beginning” that she suggested just served to confuse me).  Now, I can’t believe I ever had a problem with it – but of course, had equal trouble with her brother and sister-in-law’s names when I met them.  A coworker goes by Alissa that’s like A-Lisa but I keep saying A-leesa or someother wrong variant even though I try.

Moral of story: It’s ok to get frustrated, but try to not read into it as racism.

Post # 27
Member
2597 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

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@VegasSukie:  I posted my first response before I read this post.  If this issue has been brought to this woman’s attention several times, enough is enough.  What is her reaction?  Does she just laugh it off or dismiss your concerns or…what?

If I were you I’d give her one more chance.  The very next time she mispronounces your name, confront her directly.  Look her right in the eyes, stay calm and don’t apologize:

“Jane, DH and I have both brought it to your attention many times that you mispronouce my name.  I need to tell you that at this point, I feel insulted and demeaned by the fact that after knowing me X number of years you simply refuse to give me the common courtesy and respect of calling me by my correct name.  My name is Vegas Sukie.”

If she doesn’t apologize and correct herself, cut her out. 

Post # 28
Member
405 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

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@Sunfire:  omg i can relate to you so much. people in school would always try to shorten my name to ‘eth’ which reminds me of ‘ethanol’ or ‘meth’ but without the ‘m’. i hated it. my mom would hate it. i get so pissed. my name is not for others to butcher and make a nickname out of just because they have trouble pronouncing it! if i want you to call me by a nickname, i’ll let you know!

ugh. people are so inconsiderate sometimes.

Post # 29
Member
3194 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@Sunfire:  +1. i have no tolerance for people. i would just say, “can you actuallyl not pronounce my name, or are you doing it purposefully? because it is really unkind and annoying.” then proceed to call them the wrong name every time they mess up yours. i’m craycray like that though. ha!

Post # 30
Member
3194 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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@kay01:  +1, that’s what i meant by my post. my dad CANNOT HEAR the sounds of the foreign language i speak when i try to teach him. the people i work with CANNOT HEAR some of the sounds in english when i try to help them with their pronunciation (theyre from another continent). if it isnt that shes just linguistically challenged, then i would git ‘er.

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