Thursday, October 13, 2005

E is for ...

Examples of people getting my name wrong!
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Photo by J.S.G., on the Islands (Toronto)
I have no idea why most people here have problems pronouncing a simple two syllable name. Els - peth. The range of bizarre variations I get is baffling to me: Lispet, Lesmit, Elizabeth, Lispet, Esspet, Elsapet ... the list goes on. Sometimes I introduce myself as "Spec" (my nickname since primary school) or leave messages with the operator where friends work like "Just say Spec called" - to avoid going through the hassle of repeatedly spelling my name. The 3 examples below will give an idea of what often transpires ...
Example #1
Yesterday I called someone to find out about a cheque I am to collect. She asked me for my name and the following conversation ensued ...
Her: Can I have your first name, please?
Me: Elspeth
Her: What's that?! Spell, please?
Me: E-L-S-P-E-T-H
Her: Oh-oh-oh! Slow down! What was that?!
Me (slowly): E-L-S-P ...
Her: E-L-S-T ...
Me: No, P ... as in pineapple (I always have to say this when I reach to the "T" part)
Her: Oh, P! Ahaaaaaaaaa ...
Me: ... E-T-H
Her: Ok ... now exactly how do you pronounce that?
Me: Elspeth
Her: Ok ... Elsteth (N.B. Still pronouncing it wrong)
Example #2
When I came back from Canada on Sunday and opened my mail, there was a letter from BWee with a new BWee Miles card (since my other one was lost). My name on the card is spelt wrong (Elspbeth). The letter is also addressed to Elspbeth Duncan. To compound matters, the letter confidently begins: Dear Mr. Duncan ...
Example #3
This one happened a long time ago, but I'll include it since I found it was a classic. I had called a friend of mine at his office and he was not there, so I left a message with the operator. The essence of the conversation was this ...
Me: Can you just ask him to call Elspeth, please?
Her: Esspet?
Me: Elspeth
Her: Oh, sorry. Lispet.
Me: No, Elspeth. E-L-S-P-E-T-H.
Her (slowly): E ... L ... what's next?
(I remember having to spell my name quite a few times before she eventually got it ... and when she finally did ... this part really threw me ...)
Her: And what is your name?
(After all of that she thought that Elspeth was my business place and not my name!!! Perhaps the way I'd asked her to tell him to 'call Elspeth', not knowing that it was a person's name, she assumed it was a business. As if I had asked him to 'call Mario's' or ' call Courts Superstore').


Blogger tracy j said...

having laughed "sketilly", i totally understand what you're saying. if it isn't HutchKINGS it's HutchINS or possibly the best one... letters addresed to MS. Tracy Jonathan Hutchings

11:25 AM  
Blogger Trace said...

they always leave the e out of tracey
then there's stacey
trudy (hello?)
not to mention the surname
singh...(i dunno?)

3:49 PM  
Blogger Friendly Frog said...

Oh, sorry....I mean Elspeth. That is so hilarious! My stomach is sore now....I'm still laughing!!! This reminds me of a time I recieved a card from a certain Dept store and printed on is was Tracey KONG! That's right! I'm married to King Kong! Oh, yes, I've also been addressed as Mr. before and I certainly know about the E being left out. It happens all the time! When I look at it, it's like looking at someone elses name...Hmmm That's three Trac(e)y's in a row!....

10:22 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

Three Traceys in a row. That's true. Well, a Tracey, a Tracey and another Tracey. It is funny, though. I'm sure most people have wrong-name stories to tell.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Kaivalya said...

One of my earliest memories is of my Mother spelling her last name for a clerk at a store, singing out almost like a song. I still do this, though I have to spell *both* my first and last names. Sometimes I just give up and see what they come up with. I work at an office for an entire year with a bizarre psuedo-identity on my name badge that sounds nothing like my actual name.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous LoopyMind said...

My lastname is Lispet actualy... you don't want to know how many times people get my lastname wrong... I lost count..

SilverGull...that's actualy kinda cool, having a weird psuedo identity...
I picture this as:
your name is (fictional ofcoz!)
Karel Lazarus, but the tag read:
Froufri Bazulla...

8:41 AM  

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