Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A first in mispellings

My married last name is hard for people to pronounce and spell.  Apparently there are too many consonants clustered together in the middle and it confuses people.  This is similar to, but different from, my maiden name which consisted of too many vowels (or sometimes vowels).  I have spent my entire life using an automatic "first name, spelled, last name, spelled" convention when asked my name for registrations or appointments.  With my married name I have even developed two ways of spelling it - one for civilians and one using the military's phonetic alphabet depending on who my audience is.  Civilians seem to be more comfortable with "T as in Tom" whereas military folks prefer "T as in Tango".  My aim is to get my name spelled right, so I'll accommodate whomever is on the other side of the desk or telephone. Despite my attempts at getting my name spelled correctly, it still sometimes happens that the email or snail mail is addressed with an incorrectly spelled surname.  There are usually three or four different ways people misspell my last name, but yesterday I encountered a first.

I called a dentist's office to make an appointment and as I was a new patient, I needed to give my information to the receptionist.  First name, spelled, last name, spelled.  She read them both back to me and I agreed that she had them spelled correctly.  At the end of the phone call she said I would be receiving a confirmation email shortly.  About 10 minutes later an email from that office appeared in my inbox.  I opened it and began to laugh.

[Since I don't want to use my real last name here, I'm going to use a fake one to ease the telling of the story.]

My last name is Schwartz.  S-C-H-W-A-R-T-Z.

The name on the email was S-C-H-U-U-A-R-T-Z.  

Read the spellings out loud.  How could she have made that mistake?  I was baffled for a second until I realized what had happened. On the second spelling, consider referring to the middle of the word as a "double u".  Of all of the letters in my name that I usually clarify when spelling it out (S, C, T, Z), W isn't one of them.  And, of course, when the receptionist read my last name back to me she used the same language I had, "S as in Sam, C as in Charlie, H, double-u, etc."  I didn't (and couldn't) hear that she had typed out two separate Us instead of one single W.  
I laughed for a good five minutes.  Later in the evening I showed Zac the email and asked him if he had ever had his last name misspelled in this way.  He had not.  He laughed as well.  But looking at it now, I can't understand how she would have that I thought I meant two Us in a row.  If someone's last name is Little, I can't imagine they spell it out, L-I-double T-L-E.  That seems clunky and odd.  I'll just chalk this one up as a bizarre misspelling.  But it's a funny one.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sorry for the silence

I promise I've got some decent blog posts in me that will be popping up in the next few weeks.  I keep meaning to sit down and take some time to catch people up on our goings on, but it seems like blogging keeps getting pushed to the back burner.  You have my word that I'll make it up to you.  Maybe I'll even be able to produce more than two entries per month going forward. [gasp!]  It's sort of my mid-year's resolution.