View Message

[Opinions] Pronunciation - Should it be enforced?
Hello All,
Do you think pronunciation on a name should be enforced?By that I mean: If you pronounce a name a certain way, should you require everyone else to pronounce it that way too? Examples:
- I know an Alicia who pronounces her name ah-lish-ah. She is vehement that it be pronounced that way and offended if people mistake and say ah-leesh-ah or ah-lis-ee-yah. - My Aunt is from Greece and pronounces her name (Elena) as ELL-eh-nah, but never corrects Americans, or anyone else, when they say ee-LAY-nah (like Elaina). - My daughter is Nadine. I say Nah-DEEN ... but most people call her NAY-deen. I corrected people when she was first born but got tired of it pretty quickly and just let it go.
So - what would you folks do?
Would you be an enforcer, go-with-the-flow person, or something else?______________________________________________
Mama to Clarisse and Nadine.
Mahal na mahal
from our little family to yours!
Tags:  pronunciation
Archived Thread - replies disabled
vote up1

Replies

I think pronunciation should be enforced it's rude to the person to call them a different way to what they want to be called although if they don't mind being mispronounced it's ok. I and many of my family and friends have slightly unusual names for Australia and most including myself don't like having their name mispronounced because they like how their names are pronounced however they won't get offended if it's a mistake but only if they keep pronouncing it wrong after being corrected . If that makes sense. I can understand it can be difficult if it's a different pronunciation but if that's how the person wants it then that's how it's pronounced.New Names PNL: www.behindthename.com/pnl/151224
vote up1
It depends on how different it is. If my name was Alicia and pronounced a-leesh-ah, I wouldn't want to be called a-lis-ee-yah all the time. If it is more of an accent thing, like how I say Cara as CAR-ah and not CARE-ah, I don't think you should get insulted by it. I find it very difficult to pronounce CARE-ah.An example of me changing my pronunciation of one name depending on who it is for: the father of one of my college roommate is called Craig. He is American so it is pronounced like CREG. My uncle is also named Craig. He is Australian and so we say CRAY-g. It's really not that hard to adjust to someone else's pronunciation in general.
vote up1
Yes. I was named ee-LAH-na, not ih-LAY-na. One is my name, and one of them isn't. But I would never enforce pronunciation on someone else's name.
vote up1
Enforced is such strong word, but I think it's a matter of respect. Especially if it's a foreign name. I alway try to mimick the way people call themselves. It has a lot of nuance now that I think about it.. *Foreign names
*Names pronounced in a foreign accent. I work with a French Elsa, and I notice the French pronouce the 's' a lot softer, almost like a 'z' (el-ZAH vs. EL-sah). Is it rude to call her the English pronounciation?On the other hand, I work with a Niamh. It's definitely rude to just call her NEE-am because that's what made sense to me when I first read it.

This message was edited by the author 8/16/2016, 8:41 AM

vote up1
If it happened a lot, I'd just let it go.Similar, my daughter has often been called Megan. I never correct people, it's not worth it and I have nothing against Megan anyway.
vote up1
Enforced? No, however, I do think it's a reasonable expectation that those close to you would respect you enough to pronounce your name the way you prefer. It's okay to remind people although I'd only worry about the people who are in my life day in/day out. For example, my dh and I named our dd Anna with the flat American pronunciation. Unknown to us, her kindergarten teacher pronounced it AH-nah because her bff's name was pronounced that way. Soon, everyone at school followed suit. The following school year, people were still pronouncing the name the same way and she was as well. At the end of that school year, she began asking family to use her preferred pronunciation. So she does introduce herself that way and will remind people on a social level of the pronunciation, however, the people she really cares about (family, friends) all say AH-nah. It really isn't a big deal in our family and in our experience, once strangers or new acquaintances realize the pronunciation, they honestly will make the effort.Re: Alicia, I really love the Spanish pronunciation yet there are several different pronunciations and it puts me off the name because no one pronunciation seems dominant where I'm from.Re: Elena, I'd say at least 98% of the time that people pronounce it the way they pronounce your aunt's name. The other few percent I get ELL-en-nah. That's funny that I get that more than your aunt whose name really IS ELL-en-nah. :-)Re: Nadine, I do prefer your pronunciation but can understand why people would instinctively say nay-DEEN because that's mainly what we've all heard. If this were me, I'd still introduce her the way I prefer. Throughout your dd's life, the important people will get it, believe me, and many others will make the effort.

This message was edited by the author 8/20/2016, 6:13 PM

vote up1
Interesting about Nadine. I've never heard of nay-DEEN before now, only nah-DEEN. Also, I always assume that Elena is ELL-en-a, but now that I think about it all (or at least most) of the Elenas I've met have been e-LAY-na... hmm..
vote up1
Where are you from?the NAY in Nadine is primarily an American thing. I have never met anyone outside the US who says it that way.
ELL-en-a also seems to be a European pronunciation.
vote up1
Personally, I'm very relaxed about it. I have an unusual fn, friends and relatives who've known me pretty much since I was born misspell and mispronounce it frequently so I've become rather desensitised to it. That said I think it's fine (and probably much more normal) to correct it and I do my best not mangle other people's names.
vote up1
To me, having my name mispronounced isn't going with the flow, it's being called something that isn't my name. And my name is a big part of my identity. I would have no problem with people making mistakes with it, but after a certain point if a person continues to mispronounce, it is just rude. And lazy.
vote up1
Yeah I always correct people when the say my name wrong the first time but then after a while I give up and let them figure it out themselves and wait for them to realise that everyone else is saying it different to them. However sometimes people just don't notice, my year 5 teacher got my name wrong the whole year and I never said anything.
vote up1
It is difficult for a child to correct an adult teacher--mostly of course due to the social roles involved.
vote up1
I think it's petty to get butthurt about pronunciation. Should people be petty? It's up to them, really. In an ideal world, no.
vote up1
I don't think it's 'butthurt' to be annoyed when people can't be bothered to call you by your proper name.
vote up1
Interesting. I do.
vote up1
Ah well. Guess I'm butthurt by the rudeness then. I've also not employed people who couldn't be bothered to get it right after the 3rd or 4th time.
vote up1
As someone who has had their name mispronounced for 12 or so years, without being able to fully rectify it partly because I was (am) too shy, it would've just been too complicated, and I started not caring, I know it can be difficult. I think I'd try to enforce the pronunciation I wanted (as long as it's a valid one), but I think that's a lot easier when actually speaking out loud. From my experience, when names are written and read out (e.g. by teachers) people don't always check pronunciation and as a child parents are not usually there to help after a point. Whereas out loud, people tend to ask again or check if necessary, and it's easier to correct them. So I'd probably try, especially if I really disliked the other pronunciation being used. I mean, part of the reason for choosing a name is for the sound. But I do know from experience that it's hard to control even when you're the one with the name, let alone the parent.
vote up1
I am not always comfortable correcting people, however, my situation only involves folks who assume that I am OK to be called Barb, a short name that I despise. If it were to defend the name of a child, I'd continue correcting others--at least on paper; however, even in my own situation, if it were unlikely that I (or your daughter) would continue frequent relations with the said "Name dropper", I would just let it go to keep the peace.

This message was edited by the author 8/15/2016, 3:24 PM

vote up1
If someone's just seeing your name on paper and it's unfamiliar to them, mistakes are forgivable - like with my uncle Geraint, who regularly gets people calling and asking to speak to jerAINT. But I think it's just good manners to have a proper go at getting a person's name right when they're introduced to you, even if it's a name you're not familiar with; otherwise it can come across as 'Your name is weird and foreign and I can't be bothered with it'. For example, I shared a house with a Sharmila who was regularly referred to by one of our other housemates as Samula, which he thought was funny - she actually found it quite insulting, but was forced to put up with it because correcting him made no difference. But there does come a point where you just get sick of correcting people, and it's wiser to develop a laid-back attitude, and learn to appreciate the people who do make an effort. And hopefully more people will get Nadine's name right when she's old enough to introduce herself. :)
vote up1
This is what I meant, only with better words.
vote up1
Absolutely this
vote up1
Well, if the matter was just one of accents, like your aunt, I'd be inclined to let it go.
But if not, then I think I would insist on my pronunciation. It will also help avoid confusion with other people of the same spelling but a different sound.
vote up1
I think it should be enforced. Your name is a part of you and you have the right to have it pronounced properly.
vote up1
I'd enforce a chosen pronunciation. I consider it a direct insult if someone refuses to use a correct pronunciation of my name after being corrected more than two or three times (exceptions are made based on phonetic abilities). To me it's no different than calling a woman named Sally as Sammy and expecting her to just accept it. It's rude.
vote up1
I would be an enforcer. I think people have the right to be called what they want.My sister's oldest daughter is named Mara, and I went through a phase of pronouncing the first syllable to rhyme with "car" rather than the A sound being the same as in "cat." My sister told me to stop.
vote up1
Re: Mara, I've never heard any pronunciation other than MAR-ah. I'd have difficulty with that one myself!
vote up1