For me, the misspelling started long before I can remember. To be precise, it was on the first day I graced planet earth as my name was incorrectly spelt on my birth certificate and I had to get my name changed by deed poll. This obviously set the tone for years to come.
I am now conditioned to accept it when somebody spells or pronounces my name wrong, it’s the norm. In fact, my name is pronounced “Rue-ree” but I let it slide with the pronunciation with pretty much everyone knowing me as “Rory.”
For the unusual namers, none of our names are spelt the way they sound. The Caoimhe’s, Saoirse’s and Tadhg’s didn’t even stand a chance. Everybody knows a “Grainne” – poor ol’ fecking Grainne – The common theme here is that most of these names derive from Celtic descent. The Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Manx name creators have a lot to answer for, I mean, how inconsiderate of them to make such weird names with an excessive amount of vowels?
Those Manx names will getcha as well. They’re classified as a normal name here on our Isle but a Juan across on the Mainland is merely a Spanish fella, and I’m not even gonna start on Manx surnames!
You “normal namers” are probably reading this thinking I should just get over it but YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, MAN. You don’t appreciate the difficulties we’ve had growing up. It’s not a big deal now but I can’t tell you the heartache my 9-year-old self suffered from not being able to find a bloody keychain with my name on. (I still search for one to this day.)
Or throughout school where I would have that anxious dreaded feeling of a new teacher reading that register, and thus my name, for the first time. I knew what was coming… the pause, oh the dreaded pause. This was of course followed by a sheer look of confusion. I could see their wrinkled grimace expression as the teacher’s brain cells worked tirelessly to try and pronounce my name and more often than not I was greeted by the pronunciation of “Ruu-ahh-iri” … Ruu-ahh-f*cking-iri! Sometimes it was just easier to say “here” during the pause than let the poor teacher suffer.
Spelling our names has become a greater issue with the emergence of Starbucks and other chains that insist in asking our names for what we have ordered. Some unusual namers will give them a normal name, you know, like a Chris or a Mary just to remove the confusion that would inevitably transpire if you pass over a Aoife or a Darragh to them.
In cases where you pass over your actual name be prepared to receive a cup with most definitely NOT your name on. Only the other the day I was gifted the cup “Roy” – “Yeah cheers.”
When you find someone who actually knows your name it’s like you’ve won the lottery. Enjoy the name-ecstasy while it lasts because you’ll be brought right back down to earth by clocking that you’re saved in your best mates phone contacts as a nickname or by your surname first.
There have been days where I wanted a simple name, a Ben or a Tom would suffice, a nice one syllable, three lettered word that would brand me. How easy life would be.
But Nah… you know what, sack all of that. It may have been tough, and your work colleagues may still spell your name wrong in emails despite your ACTUAL NAME being in the f*cking email, but your name is cool.
Your name is unique, it’s different and it makes you who you are. Who wants to be called Paul or Sharon? Not me. I didn’t need a stupid keychain anyway…