If this hasn’t happened to you, I’d be surprised, but with my two accents it sure seems to happen a lot to me. You know, you meet someone and you pronounce your name the way it’s pronounced — in my case Sara (in Spanish), not Sarah (in English) — and people somehow, or another find a way to pronounce your name wrong. The hardest part for me to swallow, though, is that somehow you’re still supposed to pronounce their names correctly.
Let’s take a look at the top excuses for this behavior:
1.) I can’t roll my Rs.
Which is funny because the vast majority of Spanish words only have one R in them.
2.) It’s so hard to say.
Man, I was reading this book from The New York Times best seller list earlier this year and literally had to look up at least two words per page in the dictionary! English is a huge language with words from all kinds of other languages mixed in! It’s hard to say, too!
3.) It so pretty when you say it.
4.) Isn’t that how you say it in English?
If my name were “Sarah” (or whatever your personal name is) I would have probably said that, right? Do I get to call you José if your name is Joe? Can I call you María if you tell me your name is Mary? The answer is no, right?
5.) Why do you have to have such a hard name to pronounce, don’t you have a nickname?
Sigh. If I had a nickname I’d probably have introduced myself that way, right?
In case you’ve noticed, there’s a general theme here, and it’s that people don’t want to pronounce things that make them uncomfortable. I personally strive to pronounce others’ names correctly, and ask to be corrected. Obviously not the case anywhere. I think the real reason that we’re looking at here is much simpler, and pretty much covers all the bases.
6.) I don’t want to pronounce your name.
Now that is starting to make sense…