I hate it when someone misspells my name.

But then again, I can't do anything about it. I've been ranting about people getting my name wrong for so many years now - so often, perhaps, that I can't remember how many blog entries I've written about it, more so which ones - but I've never tried to correct people about it anymore. Never in coffee shops, never in fast food restaurants, never in most places where my name is needed, for some reason. The only exception, perhaps, would be when I'm in front of a celebrity who's signing an autograph. "Niko. N-I-K-O." Saying that to Dia Frampton may sound bitchy, but hell, you're meeting a celebrity for perhaps the only time in your life, so you only really have one chance to get it right.

As for everything else, well, it still gets to me. Really get to me, especially if you're on Facebook, posting on my wall, greeting me a happy birthday, my name standing there, in front of you, clearly. My name, spelled correctly. Niko. N-I-K-O.

Oh, I have also lost count of how many times this happened. My friends would greet me a happy birthday and, despite seeing my name on the page, would misspell it anyway. "Happy birthday Nico!" Are we even friends? Okay, that is harsh. Are you that stupid? Okay, harsher. But really. What is the point of spelling out your name if they'll get it wrong anyway, perhaps deliberately?

Then again, it's my fault my names are, umm, unusual. At least unusual here. Henrik - apparently a European name, a Dutch name - is, in my case, a merger of my parents' nicknames, which explains why Lau called me "Henrikaye" for a stretch back in our college years. It's also my fault that I thought my nickname, Niko, is a fairly common one. I went to college and suddenly everybody else had that nickname, only with a C. Now I'm the weird one. (No. We all are. Who among the Niko's and the Nico's I know have a registered name that's actually connected with their nickname? Only one, I think.) So, yeah, it's hard to change everybody's mind if you're apparently the one who's different. Unless you have a very compelling reason, nobody follows the weird guy.

My siblings also have relatively unusual names. Well, not as outrageous as however they spell Cheska nowadays or something. (Kids these days. Or should I say parents these days?) My sister's had the easiest time: she can always call herself Kim and nobody will get her name wrong. Or, she can use her other name - Erin, which my parents arrived upon because their names both have those four letters in that exact order - and nobody will still get it wrong.

My younger brother's not as lucky. He's called Gerin - my dad's Gerino, you do the math - and his nickname is Gin. (Why we did not spell it as G-E-N-E, I never pondered upon.) Strangers have assumed he's a girl by the way his name sounds, and he occasionally receives letters spelling his name as Gerine. Or Jerine. I don't know if he became a Gerinne or a Jerinne.

Inevitably people also get his nickname wrong... but not as Gene. Jin, in one case, I think. Somebody was playing far too much Tekken.

Even worse: my cousin. Now her name - Jeanna - is common, and only rarely do people assume her name is Gina, which is surprising. Now, for some reason, we call her Pichut - I don't quite remember how we came upon that nickname, probably something from when we were very little, but that stuck anyway. And, with everyone's tendency to shorten everything, we also call her Pich, the same way people call me Niks. Or Nik.

One time, she was eating in a fast food restaurant with friends, who also call her Pich. So, for some reason, when she was asked for her name, she gave that name. Pich. P-I-C-H. She spelled it out.

"So anong sabi?" I asked her yesterday, over my sister's Italian birthday dinner. "Peach?"

"Hindi," she replied. "Bitch."

Yep, the cashier spelled her name as Bitch.

So she was amused. And aghast, sufficiently aghast that she told the establishment's manager, who told off the cashier, who apparently had a very surprised face. The way I understand it, she looked like she was going to get fired. Still, she's amused, amused enough to have taken a photo of her receipt, Bitch spelled out in large-ish letters. But really, who in his right mind would name her daughter Bitch? And who in his right mind would assume that it is a real name, one listed in birth certificates, one used in passports and drivers' licenses and résumés (she just got a job) and everything else? Bitch? Really?

Then again, parents these days. They spell Cheska many ways now. Sooner or later they'll start calling their daughter Bitch, after maybe watching too much Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

And your responses...

(Sorry I deleted my previous comment, mali yung nailagay ko.)

I've been through that, too. Aleyna. Eleyna. Alina. Aleena. Aligna. Halina. Elaine. Elayna. Lahat na! From teachers to baristas. Pero I've learned to deal with it. Except may mga araw talaga na you wouldn't want someone to misspell your name and pag yun ang araw na yun, I just write my name myself or pinapakita ko ID ko. Haha! :))

Blogger Aleigna Lin2/26/2013     

Post a Comment