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

posted 7 years ago in Names
Post # 47
Member
3092 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Icetea is a nickname that developed out of middle school from people not prounoucing my name right.  I actually love my name so I don’t ever go by Icetea or anything else…I’d probably just put my annoyed face on and say, “Really, just say my damn name right!”

Post # 48
Member
3092 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

This is somewhat off topic but I think the most annoying microaggression I experience is being asked for service at every single store where I’m shopping.  I can be in Target (khakis/red shirts right?!) and I’ll be in sweatpants and a flip flops and still get asked for service.  I’ve reached my limit now, and in fact can tell exactly when someone is about to offend and I just look at them and firmly say “NO” and turn away (I mean preemptively) haha.

One time I actually asked someone why on earth would they think I was working considering what I was wearing and the white woman just said, “I don’t know, you just looked like you were working.”  Pfft.

Post # 49
Member
4654 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Like some PP… if you correct them multiple times with no result, I would just constantly mispronounce THEIR name in a the dumbest sounding way possible. Few people are confrontational enough to start something over it, rather than just take a hint. If they are, say why.

Post # 51
Member
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

My name is Penelope. It is truly astounding to me how many people have difficulty pronouncing it. The most common pronunciation is Pen-a-lope (as in antelope just with Pen at the beginning). I’ve also gotten Penal-lopey and Penlop. 

It’s actually a good test of when telemarketers are calling because they almost always say my name incorrectly. I simply say “I’m sorry, but no one by that name lives here.” If it’s someone in person, I correct them politely and if they still have problems I just say “Hey, call me Penny. It’s easier that way.”

Post # 52
Member
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Names are personal. My name is Jessie and 99% of the time when I introduce myself to people they reply ‘ oh hi Jessica!’ To me that’s an entirely different name and is just like me replying to  a Sally by saying ‘hi Sallyka!’ I’m a teacher with kids from all kinds of backgrounds and I’m always careful to learn how to say names and correct others when needed because its so frustrating! Some good advice above, you tell ’em!

Post # 53
Member
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Correct them obsessively.  I don’t think you are being oversensitive.  I have a name that is very common to English speakers, but I absolutely hate it when people mispronounce other people’s names.  Practice until you get it right, especially if you have to say it a lot.  (Curiously, people get my name wrong all the time – always Melanie or Michelle – and it doesn’t bother me that much.  There was a woman in my department who called me Michelle for 3 years before she realized she had it wrong.  I’m Southern and she was my elder, and I only saw her occasionally, so I never corrected her.)

Personally, I would correct them obsessively.  Every time they said it wrong, I would say it right, and stare at them like they were daft.

I also agree with Zhabeego.  If they still don’t get it or seem oblivious, I would say directly that they keep mispronouncing your name and you would like for them to pronounce it correctly, and then say it for them.

Post # 53
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

Very interesting situation, I had something similar happening to me.

First off, I’d make sure you don’t have any ego issues in the sense that you’re not being too sensitive -it sounds to me that no, that’s your problem here-.

Then make sure they know it’s bothering you and you feel demeaned -it sounds like you’ve done so-.

At this point, start mispronouncing their name as well or keep fixing their mistake or, yes, cut them loose from your life.

Here’s an article on this exact same situation (curious about your thoughts) : 

People pronouncing your name wrong: 4 coping strategies that work

Post # 54
Member
678 posts
Busy bee

People mispronounce my last name a lot. It doesn’t bother me, and I think it is funny. If your friends are mispronouncing your name on purpose, then yeah, that’s shitty, but some people don’t have a good ear for that kind of thing. Maybe they’re just not hearing the difference of what you say vs. what they say. I remember in one of my foreign language classes, my professor pronounced two different words, and to me and most of the class, they sounded the same.

What is your name if you don’t mind me asking?

Post # 55
Member
333 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Urgh I get the same thing too, no matter how many times I say and spell it for people, and mines a fairly common western name too. Depends how frustrated I am with the particular person, but I sometimes just start responding to them using random names to prove a point. Like if their name is Jane, I’d say wow that’s some great insight Jennifer. Immature? Maybe, but it actually has worked in the past to get my point across.

Post # 56
Member
5867 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

View original reply
Zhabeego :  +1 to all of this.  Right on.

This post has been illuminating to me – I can’t believe how many people are seriously bothered by this!  My last name gets mispronounced pretty much all the time and I can honestly say it doesn’t bother me at all – it’s a hard name!  

I can see why OP is annoyed that a fairly close friend still isn’t getting it right, especially when you layer in the ethnic component.  But people here are complaining about names being wrong on Starbucks cups…give the Baristas a break!

Post # 57
Member
5466 posts
Bee Keeper

Deleted because I just realised this is four years old. 

Post # 58
Member
5466 posts
Bee Keeper

Deleted same reason. 

Post # 59
Member
305 posts
Helper bee

What an interesting zombie thread.
My first name is a usual American name; for 2 years my boss thought the T in it was a P, he even got a birthday cake for me with my name spelled wrong that way on it. 
My last name has consonants lined up some that are silent. I myself mispronounced it until I was in the 7th grade. When my mother heard it and corrected me. 

My brother stopped correcting peoples pronunciation of our last name and now just tells people to pronounce it the American way. Same as Colin Powell/ Dick Cheney. Colin Powell’s 1st name is not coal-in. It’s cawlin. But he gave up correcting people and just accepted this. 
Dick Cheneys name is really Chean-ee (with the long e sound after ch). But people would not stop saying chay – nee so he just gave up and accept it. 

 

Post # 60
Member
10098 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

 

View original reply
mrsnyctola :  

Colin Powell’s  name should be pronounced Cawl-in ? That’s even odder than Coal-in. Wonder why his parents  didn’t just pronounce it Coll-in as its supposed to be ?

My name here in Oz often gets turned into an egregious form , the shortened  name of a hugely and historically popular  doll. I hate it !!! I regularly say ‘ actually its (proper  name)’ to which  I usueally get ‘oh really,  do you prefer that?’ . Yes , I say and  it maybe lasts one exchange before its  back to doll. Sigh.

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