Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Name is Elana

Okay, so there's some confusion about my name. I wholeheartedly blame my parents. I mean, seriously, Mom and Dad? So anyway, since it's my name and I'm using it and all that, I'm here to clear up the confusion.

Number 1: I only have one E in my name, and it's at the beginning. The other two vowels are both A's. elAna.

*insert song "My name is Jonas"* It's all I'm thinking as I write this post. "My name is Elana..."

Number 2: You say it "Uh-lay-nuh." Well, that's how I say it. If you're my dad, you say "Ee-lay-nuh." Sometimes my husband says it like this too, and sometimes I do, if I'm in a more formal situation. Go figure. But it is not Ee-lawn-uh.

So yeah. I pretty much answer to anything. And if you forget, just put an I in it. Ela(i)na, and go with that.

Okay, phew. That's off my chest.

Do you guys have a name no one can spell right or pronounce? Does your main character? Because I think that's pretty uh, not good. I don't want to guess at how to pronounce your MC's name. So yeah. Things to consider. And now when we meet in person, you won't have to avoid using my name. (Not that that's ever happened...)

112 comments:

Jessica Carmen Bell said...

Well, you'd think Jessica was a pretty straight forward name, but here in Greece it's a little confusing for some. For one there is no 'J' sound here, so it' end up being 'Tz'. They also confuse the 'c' at the end as an 's', so I get a lot of 'Tzes-see-suh' here. Yeah, I know, weird ...

Stephanie McGee said...

I admit to pronouncing it wrong before I met you in person. But then right off the bat someone else in the room said your name so I never had the awkwardness of mispronouncing it.

Growing up, people would ask me all the time how to spell my name. I'd tell them, "The normal way."

The joys of growing up in a place where people are notorious for giving their children wacky spellings of common names. (Not that your name is wacky. Because it isn't.)

Tez Miller said...

Confession: I thought your name was pronounced Eh-LAH-nah. Like Alannah Miles. Could just be my Australian brain, though ;-)

Now I know better. Thanks, lass :-)

Melanie said...

glad you cleared that up because honestly, i've been pronouncing it Uh-lah-nuh. so now i know
:-).

as for my name, most people can pronounce it (though young children can have a hard time with it). however, many people, after hearing my name only once will forget and call me "melody." as for people spelling my name? well, that's where the butchering comes into play. spellings i've seen when i give my name and they write it:

Melony (most common, ugh, hate this one and i seriously think there is no one with that name. well, maybe one or two in the world :-))

Melany, Melody are the other ways people will spell it. And funny enough, when I turned 18 (way back in the day) I got mail from the armed forces for Melvin haha. Yeah. They were just a little off.

Renae said...

Everyone says my name wrong, spells it wrong...I blame my dad for wanting it to be different. Instead of just leaving it Renee he had to go and spell it Ren-a-e. You wouldn't think one little letter would matter. Let me tell you it does.

As far as my characters go, I do have some unique names, but I try to make them names that people don't have to guess at.

salarsenッ said...

Um...yeah. Sheri is not only spelled umpteen different ways, but also pronounced differently. I come from a huge French family where the older relatives could never get it right. They'd call me Shannon, Sharon, Cheryl... I got used to it. My maiden name is just as bad. Long French name...Bah!

Characters: I'm sure one of them will have issues, at least with the pronunciation. (Kahl)

Chanelle said...

It's remarkable if anyone gets my name spelt right on the first go.
Chanelle.
It can be spelt with an S at the front. Or without the L and E at the end. Or with two N's.
What grates on me the most, though, it when people spell it like this:
CHANNEL.
That does not spell Chanelle, people! It spells Channel. Like Channel One on TV. It really does frustrate me.
Or when people call me Chantelle. There is no T in my name. But somehow, people like to put it in there. It happens to me a lot at work with the Judges that I work with. And it's got to that stage where I can't even be bothered to correct them anymore. My collegues do it for me!

Matthew Rush said...

That is really good to know because I've been calling you uh-lahn-uh in my head for months now. uh-lay-nuh is much prettier.

BTW: Zenn? I see your first line of possession over there and I'm trying to remember ... didn't he used to have a different name?

Laura Pauling said...

My second name I answer to is Paula because people combine my first and last name. I've gotten used to it and barely correct them. Not much else I can do except where a name tag. Not.

Matthew Rush said...

Yeah, Jag Barque, I LOVED that name! Or is that a different character?

PK Hrezo said...

Well, I'm glad that's cleared up because I was saying it wrong.

I just started a Wednesday Weekly Spotlight on my new blog and YOURS is the firs to kick it off. Check it out! :)

Mary said...

You all have very beautiful and unique names because of yours names people like me now have difficulties. Until about tn years ago no one ever said to me "Spell that please."
Mary, honestly how hard is that. Now I get Mari, Meri, Merry, Merri and on and on.
You make the unique not the spelling. But I appreciate your frustration.
For characters, as long as I don't need an interpreter for other writer's I'm fine. I try to keep my own easy to figure out.

Natalie Aguirre said...

It's annoying when your name isn't pronounced right. My daughter's name is Anna Li and she's constantly called Anna at places like the doctor's even when we correct the person.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My daughter and I have that problem. People have a hard time realizing Stina is a short form of Kristina. Some people pronounce the "i" like it's name. That just plain sounds ugly.

My daughter's name is Anja, but people don't realize it's the same name as Anya. So they pronounce the "ja" like as in ninja. I cringe everytime. I didn't realize when I picked the spelling (which is how they spell it in Finland) that it would be an issue.

For characters, I try to come up with names people can pronounce. I hate reading a book when I can't get my mind around the character's name. It keeps kicking me out of the story.

Babydoll said...

My name is Tyffani. Yes, I spelled it right and yes, it's pronounced just as if it were spelled "Tiffany". But if you write my name as "Tiffany" and try to tell me it's me, I will correct you. People think they can spell it wrong and pretend it's still me for some reason. lol I can't tell you how many times people have asked "How do you say your name?"

kellyhashway said...

I hated having a common name when I was younger. I always had another Kelly in my class. So I gave my daughter an uncommon name, Ayla. It's pronounced like Kayla without the K. People mispronounce her name all the time, and I worry that she'll be annoyed by it all her life. I tried to save her from what I went through and now she'll have a different problem. Oh well. I really do love the sound of her name though. I think it's beautiful.

Christine Danek said...

I don't have too much trouble. I do get misspellings though. A lot of people add a "k" at the front or some people think my name is Christina. Not sure why but it happens.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If someone mispronounces Alex, then they have issues beyond my help!
And I think my main characters are simple - Byron and Bassa.

Steena Holmes said...

I'm in the boat with Stina. I get Christina alot, but it's just Steena (and when I say that fast, just Steena, I get called Justina - like now at work. OMG drive me bonkers.)

Nisa said...

With a name like Janyece? Yeah, I feel your pain. Why do you think I use Nisa on-line? lol! I'm all about easy names for MCs. Phonetics is great!

Liza said...

OMG! Try having a name like Liza. Or is that Lisa? Or Liz? Or Leeza? And believe it or not, Liza is derived from my middle name, Elizabeth, not even my first name...Mary. I so feel your frustration! I blogged about it too once...as I reread the post just now, I realized it could still be edited like crazy, but if you have time for a chuckle...here's a post for you: http://middlepassages-lcs.blogspot.com/2009/10/theres-something-about-mary.html. And yea, so far my characters names are pure, clean and easy to spell.

Elena said...

My name is Elena too...only as you can see there's an E instead of your A. It's pronounced the same as yours. When I lived in NYC no one seemed to have a problem with it. Here in Virginia no one seems to pronounce it correctly; it's either Eleeeeena, or Ellena. One good thing about it is that I know immediately if I'm getting a call from a telemarketer or not because they fall into the "no idea how to pronounce it" category.

Meredith said...

Um, yes, I've totally been saying your name wrong. Good to know! Now I need to check all of my characters' names to make sure their names aren't too ambiguous!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Thanks for clearing that up! I've wondered myself. ;)

It's amazing how many times I'm Carolyn-ed. You would think CaroLINE isn't too hard to pronounce, right? I mean, line is line and lyn is lyn. Not complicated. Yet I'm constantly called Carolyn.

This is actually the main reason for the name of my blog: a little lesson in how to pronounce my name.

Michelle McLean said...

Ha! Oy, my name problems...with my first name, the last "e" always got left off on the school roll sheets, leaving it as Michell - for some reason teachers always translated this as Mitchell. This was such a problem I was even given a locker on the boys' side of the locker room for PE...good thing we figured that out the day before school started as we were touring the campus.

And my maiden name no one pronounces right. It's Marquis. Pronounce exactly as it's spelled - Mar-qua-iss. Now, we don't fuss if people use the French pronunciation Mar-key...it is a French name after all.

But it's amazing what people come up with. I was Mitchell Marquez (rhymes with Pez) almost every first day of school my whole life. in fact, Mitchell is one of my nicknames from high school. I still have people calling me that LOL Teachers were always very surprised to find that I was a blondish white girl instead of a latino boy :D

We also get Mar-kist, Mar-kezz, and a million other variations.

And then I went and named my daughter Ryanna (pronounced Ree-anna) We named her after my brother Ryan, but yeah, we pronounce it Ree LOL We've been correcting people's pronunciation of her name her whole life. Sorry Nana!!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Well, you'd think Lindsay would be easy to say, which it is, but spelling it is another matter. There are so many variations I've had them all. lol.

Alicia Gregoire said...

Points to me for reading your name right this entire time. *confetti*

I get my entire name mispronounced and misspelled. It's Ah-LEESH-ah, but I've been called Alyssia, Felicia, Alice, and I've gotten emails where I'm addressed as Gregoire as my first name. I expect the last name to be bungled into Gregory and for the O and the I to be transposed. The first name though kills me.

Anna said...

Ah yes, I may know a little something about difficult names. :-) I always make sure to spell my characters' names phonetically, so even if they're not typical, it's still clear how to say them. In fact, I think I'm a little maniacal when it comes to names.

Cherie Reich said...

I feel your pain. My name is Cherie. Imagine how many ways it can be spelled and pronounced. I've probably heard them all. I pronounce my name as Sure-ree. I typically have given up if someone pronounces it differently. I may correct them once or twice, but after that, I just go with it. My last name hasn't been much better either, but it's just the way it is. *laughs* Now I do get a little peeved when someone mispronounces my middle name. It's Nicole. How hard is that?

Emily White said...

No one could ever spell my maiden name, Dickinson. They always wanted to put an "e" between "k" and "n." And then there were those people who pronounced it Dickerson. Yeah, annoying.

For the record, I've been pronouncing your name correctly! Yay for me!

Bish Denham said...

Well, my name almost ALWAYS raises questions the first time people hear it. "Your name is what?" "Beach?" "Tish?" "Bliss?" (They are very careful not to say the b**ch word though that's usually the first word that comes to mind, I can see it on their faces!) "Is that your real name?" (Like I'd introduce myself with a fake name...)"Is it short for something, like Bishop?" Of course no one gets it right and I have to explain how I got the name Bish, which I blogged about a while back, (shameless plug) so I won't go into it here.

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

I feel your pain. My name is Eleni and people murder it all the time. They either call me Elena, or pronounce wrong. :)

Cinette said...

As far back as I can remember, people would say "Cinette? How do you spell that?" Mom tells me I would spell my name out to them by the time I was four. It's pronounced Sin-et, but it's murdered beyond recognition regularly.

Em-Musing said...

My character's name is Em. Not complicated or ever mispronounced. But, it is cryptic :)

MarcyKate said...

My name is MarcyKate - I cannot even remember all the many and varied ways people screw up my name, but my favorite (or least favorite, depending on how you look at it) is when I'm introduced to people and they correct me, "Oh you mean, MaryKate?" The Olsen twins completely ruined my life! I can't even Google myself without it saying "Did you mean MaryKate?"

Claire Dawn said...

I get Clare and Clair all the time. I got used to it, and it no longer bothers me.

PS Contest at mine :)

Jen said...

And these are the moments I'm glad my name is Jen... there are other moments I hate it... but today I'm glad it's Jen.

I have been pronouncing it Ee-lay-nuh, so I'm glad I'm on team dad, and sometimes team hubs!!! :)

Jen Chandler said...

Hmmm, I've been pronouncing it right! Hooray me :D

As for my name, it's one of the most boring, plain names in English-dom. No mispronouncing here, but I DO have people want to put another "f" in there or (horror of horrors) call me "Jenny". *shudder*

I guess that's why I peg my characters with unique names.

Jen

Slamdunk said...

Glad you take the name pronunciation combos in stride. I have a plain name, but the Mrs.' gets some interesting attempts at her maiden name.

~Jamie said...

It's like when Rowling had to tell us how to say Hermione...

which I was totally saying wrong until she did the pronunciation thing :)

I did this to my kid too, though... her's is Halle, and it's pronounced the same way you'd say Halle Berry's name. (I wanted to spell it Hallie, but it's a family name from my husband's side, so the spelling was decided for me.) Everyone calls her Hay-lee. Poor girl. :)

ElegantSnobbery said...

Oooh, I feel awful because I'm a member of the Pronounces Elana's Name Wrong Club and I HATE when people pronounce mine wrong. So, great post, glad I will be saying it right in the future. My name is Marisa (rhymes with Lisa!) and no one ever gets it right!

j.leigh.bailey said...

Okay, so my name is Jennifer, not too hard to spell or say, but I went by Jenni in school but got tired of people spelling Jenni with a Y (there is no Y in Jennifer!) but then in college I was Jen, but I got tired of people spelling Jen with two Ns, which just looked weird to me. So, yeah, I'm now known as Jennifer, all three syllables(or for purposes of writing J. Leigh, which gets into a question of is it pronounced LEE or LAY...).

Colene said...

Right there with you on the name. No one spells it right and how they say it depends on where they're from.
(Coal-een) No one hears it right when I answer the phones at work either. So I'm usually Polly of Connie. =/

Melody said...

This makes me happy, because I've been pronouncing your name right the WHOLE TIME! :)

That's really good, because my brain hates switching pronunciations.

And yes, my last name is a source of constant spelling AND pronunciation woe...I'm hoping that I achieve something simpler when I marry haha. :) But I do like the unique-ness.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Kayeleen. Kay-Leen. I've had Kathleen, Kaylynn, Carolyn, Kylie, Katherine, even Kay-ellen. I used to explain how to pronounce it by saying it's like "you buy lean ground beef." That resulted in some awkward nicknames.

When I was in elementary school, I went by Kaye, but kids made fun of that too. It wasn't until I was much older that I learned to accept my name and not wish I had something more normal, like Beth or Amy or Melissa.

Patti said...

I always hated reading books as a kid where the MC's character was hard to pronounce, so I thought I had named people and places in my book well, until my sister couldn't pronounce Dagny right. You can never win. My name is easy to pronounce, but it always spelled wrong.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My mother-in-law's name is Lana - pronounced Lawn-a - and it seems like no one ever says it right. Thankfully, mine is pretty simple. :-)

Lisa_Gibson said...

Mine's pretty simple. ;) However, I had a heck of a time with Hermione in Harry Potter. Not a real popular name here in the states and I was totally lost at first.
It is frustrating with difficult characters names in books. Sometimes I'll just give them an alternate like Jim or Whatzherface, that I substitute as I read. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

VR Barkowski said...

Good heavens, I could have written this post! This is why I'm VR, although I answer to Vee, Viva, Veva, Eva, Vera, Vivi, Vida, Aviva, Reva, Velva, Via, Verna, and Velma. Oh, and Veve (Vēv), which is what most people call me.

I would never do this to one of my characters. To make it real, each time the character was introduced to someone new, they'd have to do the dreaded name dance.

"Hi, I'm Sue."
"Hi, Sue! I'm Viva, so nice to meet you."
"Vera?"
"No, Viva. Like the paper towel." [Nothing makes a positive impression like correcting folks the second you meet them. You want to damper it with humor.]
"That's an interesting name. Where'd it come from?"

And we're off…

Yes, I have strong feelings on the subject. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

I always heard it as Eh lay nah.

My last name, which used to be nice and easy (Brown), is now Milstein. It's Mill steen.

I get:

Mill stone (especially from areas without m/any Jews).
Mill stine
and
Mill stin

Tamika: said...

My name lives in the slaughter house of people's tongues:) My mother only slightly sees the horror that she's inflicted, and I too have learned to answer to almost anything!

Sandy Shin said...

I also have to confess I pronounced your name the same way Tez Miller did -- but I know better now!

I try to give my characters relatively unique but not terribly difficult to pronounce/spell names, because I myself tend to forget difficult names when I read, even if I do remember the characters.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

First of all, Weezer is the soundtrack to my life. My all-time favorite song EVER? "Say It Ain't So." Guitars: zhang-zhang, zhang-zhang Say it ain't so-oh-oh-oh-oh! My love is a heartbreak-urrr...

Secondly, sigh. Guaran-frikkin-tee any stranger sees my name they say, "Zoh." DUDE. It's ZowEE. (Actually mum made it Zo-way, on account of her being British and cuz of the umlaut - but I figure Zowee's close enough.)

But even at my high school graduation, administrators who'd known me for FOUR YEARS still mispronounced my name when I went to receive my diploma: Zoh Courtman. Sigh.

Bethany Mattingly said...

Mine is usually pretty simple, Bethany. I get called Brittany all the time though. I just shrug. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Most people think my name is pronounced "tier", not "terry". It's so not my fault though. My dad is Jeremiah, and goes by Jere, so I think the blame lies with my grandmother.

I have to tell people, "It's "Teresa" without the "sa". Then they get it. ;)

Also, people want to put an "h" in "teresa". Can't win.

Jessie Oliveros said...

My last name is always mispronounced. I definitely think of this as I invent character names. I've even written the name down and asked my husband how he'd say it. If there is any question in how to pronounce it, I ditch it.

WindyA said...

You're too funny.

My first name, not hard. But I do get a lot of people "correcting" the spelling of it for me, addressing emails and such as wEndy instead of Windy.

I think it's especially funny when they do it in an email. Look at the email address, dude. Plus, last I checked, I KNOW how to spell my name.

Hahaha, love this topic.

Ishta Mercurio said...

DUDE!

My name is Ishta.

Wanna guess how many different ways people have come up with for saying THAT one? Uh-huh.

It's pronounced EESH-tuh. Think of the "i" at the beginning as an Italian "i", and you're halfway there.

I've had EESH-tah, ISH-tah, ISH-tuh, ISH-kuh, ISH-muh, EESH-ter, ISH-ter, IT-shuh, EET-suh (rhyming with pizza), eye-EESH-uh (Aisha)... I could go on for a while here. The most memorable was my seventh-grade homeroom teacher, who somehow whipped up "NOOSH-uh". Um, no.

Wanna know my last name?

It's Mercurio. Yeah.

My name means some pretty awesome stuff, so it's cool. I'm used to it, and I'll correct people the first couple of times, and then I'll just answer to whatever they say. There's only so far it's worth pushing it, and I actually really like that I have a name that is so unique. I believe that our names are part of what defines us, and I love mine. But Nousha? Come ON.

Don said...

I've seen Elana spelled probably a half-dozen different ways, all pronounced the same.

In Bumpy Landings, half of my characters are Polynesian, so it's been a real challenge to try and come up with authentic, meaningful names that are also pronouncable by the general public.

Susan R. Mills said...

Funny, my MC's character was Elana. Pronounced like yours, but I recently changed it because I wondered if people would pronounce it correctly. Timely post.

Susan R. Mills said...

Um, I meant my MC's name, not my MC's character.

The Golden Eagle said...

I always thought of it as Eh-Lay-Nuh and not the other way around . . . but I can see where some confusion might come in.

I sometimes give my characters "different" names, but they shouldn't be all that hard to say; like, for example, "Almodova". Al-muh-doh-va.

Candyland said...

People can pronounce my name but they always spell it wrong. First and last.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Nobody has ever mispronounced Jennifer, although I have seen some creative spellings in an attempt to "liven" the name up (I used to work in a university). Most unusual was GENYPHYR. I felt sorry for the girl. Imagine having to go through life with the name that sounds like JENNIFER but looks like GENYPHYR. She'll be telling people how to spell her name for the rest of her life.

rickischultz said...

My issues are mainly spelling issues.

Ricki Schultz . . . First, I get a lot of "kki" and "cky"...and with a last name that's seven letter, only one of which is a vowel, yeah. No one ever spells it right!

Schultz is my married name, and Ricki is actually my nickname that I primarily use. Ericka Gerald wasn't much better, though. I know my parents wanted "rick" in the middle of my given name (my dad's name is Rick, and I'm an only child), but no one ever spells that right either. And you wouldn't think "Gerald" would be difficult, but I got "GeraRd" more than you'd think! Or people would pronounce it GerALLd.

I definitely thought of you as "ee-LANN-uh," so this shifts my whole paradigm! :)

Thanks for the clarification!

lotusgirl said...

I always had your name right in my head. Yippee. With a name like Lois... I've been called Louis and Louise more times than I can count. Hello... Louis is a boy's name. People have a hard time spelling it too. Usually, they spell it Louis. Hello... that's a boy's name. Anywho! I'm not sensitive or anything about it. Er. Actually, I've made peace with my name and really like it now. It's unique and I was named after my mother and I love her. So... At least it's not as unusual as one of my brother's: Foy. Just imagine how often he's had to explain that. "No, not Floyd. Foy, like toy but with an F." Then again I totally love his name.

I'm particularly picky about all my character names being pronounceable and readable. My MC is Zoe.

Janet Johnson said...

I always get Janice. Maybe I need to practice enunciation. Hmmm . . .

kathrynjankowski said...

No one mispronounces Kathryn, but I do correct those who shorten it to "Kathy".

As for my last name, I usually jump in the second someone hesitates, though it's not as much of a jawcracker as some Slavic names. Three simple syllables, actually: jan-kow-ski.

I think the funniest, most ribald mispronunciation I ever heard came in a journalism class, when a professor called someone Reg-I-na.

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Whew, I’m glad to find out I’ve been pronouncing your name in my head all this time. :) My name is easy – but people still spell it wrong – Hollie or best yet Holy.

Krispy said...

Yay! I've been pronouncing your name right in my head. :)

My last name is what messes people up. It's weird in English AND in Chinese because it's a double last name. The pronunciation in English would be pretty straightforward if the "chang" part weren't spelled "chiang." That seems to throw people off. In Chinese it's weird because usually people have 3 characters in their name - the first being the surname/family name, the next 2 characters being the first name. I have 3 characters in my name, but 2 of them are my family name, leaving 1 character for my first name, and that just confuses people.

I think my characters' names are okay, though heavy fantasy stories do tend to lend themselves to weirder names. As a reader, if names are hard to pronounce it does sort of put me off, which is a little unfair but it's weird when I don't know how to say the MC's name!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry if I've ever mispronounced your name in my head, but now I know better. :)
And you're so right - one time I named one of my characters Liae. Confusing. Then my mom asked how I pronounced it, and I said, 'Um... Lee-uh."
Now, it's spelled Lea. :) Which isn't super clear, but is much better. :)

Gail said...

Uh huh...that's why my MC is named Max, no mispronunciations.

As for my name [Gail], an Aussie friend says my name as "Guile" rhyming with smile, my Brit friend says it "Gell" like "well", but I think most folks get it right as Gail (gale) since they think I'm sometimes full of hot air or "long-winded!"

Yamile said...

This post made me laugh. My name? I won't even tell you the grief people have given me over the years over it. It's Arabic, pronounced with an Argentine accent. Yamile (sha-MEE-lay).
Not even my husband says it right.
My MCs are Camila and Diego. I don't think they're hard to pronounce, are they?
My kids? My boys' names start with J, but in Spanish it sound like H. Remember Joaquin is not Dgoa-Qw-een. It's Hoa-keen.
And the dentist assistant once called my daughter Magalí, Miguel. I think she just didn't know how to read. When she complained she didn't speak Spanish, I said, "Good, because it's French."

L.T. Elliot said...

I answer to about anything these days. Laura, Lara, Lora, Laurie, Lauren, Lana, Chum, "Hey Fatso!" Just about anything. ;)

Carolyn Abiad said...

My husband has a hard time. His name is Fatih - not Faith. Fa-tih! We once got something in the mail for him spelled Fafapinko - no joke! Anyway, our last name is hard too so I'm always spelling it out: A, B as in boy, I,A,D as in delta. Sometimes I think, for the love of chicken nuggets, just change your name to Victor White man! (real translation, btw)

melissa said...

I'm Melissa and people call me Marsha and Michelle ALL.THE.TIME. I never understood it. They're totally different names.

I also get the misspelling "Mellissa" a lot. That I really don't understand because I've met more than a few other Melissa's in my life and I've never met one that spells their name with two L's.

Katie said...

Ha! I bet there are some peeps who love you and are so glad you cleared that up!

Have a great day!

ali said...

Yes it does! Last time we were out together you met someone who didn't know how to pronounce your name! Hahahaha, so not surprised by this post, lol.

So, my name is ALI. As in alley. But LOTS of people think it's Ah-LEE as in Muhammad. And some people will then call me Alison because they assume this is where Ali comes from. But it doesn't, it's from Alexandra.

And yes I know all about your pet peeves of naming characters. Hence, why names have been changed on occasion. We aim to please, right?

Annette Lyon said...

Oh, heavens. I've come to the point of answering to anything that rhymes with "Annette." (This includes Janette, Lynette, Nanette and others.)

I always have to spell my last name. Y, not I, and NO S.

But Lyon is easier than my maiden name--Luthy. Like LUCY but with a LISP is how I used to explain it. I'd get Lutty, Lutchy, Loochy, and all kinds of goofy variations. (It's Swiss.)

Nutschell said...

Well I can thank my parents for naming me Nutschell. People call me nut-shell when they read my nametag. Of course I correct them and explain that it's like Michelle but with an nu at the beginning. Nu-shell, you know? Most of them still don't get it however, and I end up letting them call me Michelle.

Claire Goverts said...

There are a few spellings of "Claire" out there, so sometimes my name is misspelled. People usually forget the E at the end.

I've had my name confused with "Elaine" before. With some styling of cursive writing The C for my name can look like an E, and the R an N.

Anne R. Allen said...

I have the most ordinary name in the world, but it's amazing how many people don't know the "e" is silent.

Lynda Young said...

Oops.. I thought it was El-ah-nuh -- maybe that's my aussie accent ;)
My first name drives me crazy. I know it's only a Y and it's pronounced the same way as if it were spelled with an i -- BUT IT's A Y!!!! So many people can't spell it right - even when it's in front of them. Lynda is not that unusual people! ;)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

My first name can be misspelled and pronounced so many different ways I stopped using it years ago. The slaughtering of one's name is never pretty!

Hannah Kincade said...

I have two syllables and people mess that up. COME ON! It's really no that hard. There's only three letters, once forward. Once backward. It's not Anna or Hawnnah or even Hanna ( and yes, I can tell when you're not using the second H). Sigh.

p.s.
nicknames not allowed. You know which ones! *shaking fist at nicknames* See that? I shake my fist at nicknames.

Carolyn V. said...

At least people don't call you Caroline. I hate that.

Ted Cross said...

I have a guy who chose a funny name once he discovered he would be a wizard. It looks hard to pronounce but is actually quite simple. Xaxanakis, pronounced Zax-AN-a-kiss

Vicki Rocho said...

First, I've been "saying" your name right! Hooray for me!

Second, my last name Rocho...no one ever gets it right. They say Row-Cho or Row-Ko but not Rock-oh. But I used to be a Smith so I was thrilled to trade my generic name in for something with a little more zing.

And finally, AMEN! My biggest pet peeve is not being able to pronounce character names. What if I were reading out loud to my kidling? You want me to butcher that name through the whole thing? My kids don't need any more reasons to make fun of me.

Jaime Theler said...

My name is spelled the same as Hi-may in Spanish. When someone calls on the phone and pronounces it that way, I know it's a telemarketer. And my last name gets slaughtered by 9 out of 10 people I meet, so I don't even bother.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I've decided if I ever become famous everyone is going to have to pronounce my name with a Spanish accent. Sharon is so boring, but when you say it with a Spanish accent it is lovely!

T. Anne said...

WOW 90 comments??? I aspire to be you!

Um my first name, the T in T. Anne? Is a grammatical error on some level. No really, it's impossible to spell right. I don't even bother spelling it myself. ;)

Sara B. Larson said...

Yeah, don't worry, I totally called you ElAHna the first time I met you, but you didn't hear me and then Carolyn corrected me and I felt like the world's biggest idiot. So fun.

My first name wasn't too hard, but my last name growing up was a doozy. And also easily make-fun-able. Kinda glad it's Larson now. Easy-peasy-no-make-funny.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Well, Jon is pretty easy, so is Jonathon... it's my last name that even the NYT is sure to spell wrong.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks for clearing that up! :)

My sister has an unusual name and there's always been tons of confusion. Drives everyone who knows her nuts. On the plus side, she never has to use her last name to identify herself - first name does it every time :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Ha! I have been correctly pronouncing it in my head! Woot woot for me. *grin*

I try to keep my character's names pronounceable. LOL

lexcade said...

my name is catherine. it has been spelled: katherine, kathryn, caitie, caite, kate, and other variations that i can't remember...

i have a character *patiently waiting* named kyra, but i pronounce it in my head with a long I sound (like ice) instead of the short I sound (like kiss). i know it'll never be pronounced the way i want it haha.

beth said...

*waves hands frantically in the air*

Beth is fairly normal, but Revis...ah, Revis.

It's Reh-vus.

NOT Ree-vis.

Everyone from where my husband and I were raised knew it was Reh-vus. But we moved...into an area that thinks it can be nothing but Ree-vis. *headdesk*

Elana Johnson said...

Beth! I've had it all wrong this whole time. I'm such a loser. See? You need to do a post like this one!

And Jon, dude, I can't get your last name right to save my life. I've put the T in like, five different places. So when you hit that Bestsellers list, have the email where you patiently explain how to spell your name ready to go.

And I'm so glad that so many of you have name problems too! This strangely makes me feel better...

Solvang Sherrie said...

Both my names always get spelled wrong. There are at least ten different ways to spell Sherrie and some people try to pronounce it with the accent on the end, like Sher-EE. Then my last name always gets an O where the second E should be and sometimes a D where the T should be. And I've had every Sherry Baby song sung to me at least a hundred times. *insert eye roll*

At least Steve Perry spelled it right when he sang Oh, Sherrie :)

Shayda Bakhshi said...

My name is Shayda Bakhshi. Yep. And I don't go by Shay.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I know exactly where you're coming from. Trust me. Nobody EVER gets my name right.

Laura said...

Funny you should mention about our characters. Whereas as my name's easy and is never mispronounced (except by Italians), my character's name is Zana. I think of her as Z-short "a" as in "hat"-n-uh. But I wonder how many will think she's Zawna or Zayna. Yikes. I'm gonna pick easier names next time.

Misha said...

Micha, Mischa, Michelle, Mishka, Mica.... Oh and recently Amisha...

My name is not that difficult. Five letters, phonetic spelling.

My surname, on the other hand is a bit more challenging.Gericke is pretty unpronouncable to any speaker that isn't German, Dutch or Afrikaans.

And that, in a nutshell, is the number one reason for wanting to print under a Pseudonym. If people can't pronounce my names, how will they remember them?

Tessa Quin said...

Are you kidding? My name has 30 letters in it and it sounds like Klingon to the rest of the world (I'm Icelandic) - hence the pen name.

As for your name: Vlog it! ;)

Tiana Smith said...

Believe me, people mispronounce my name ALL THE TIME. Even people who have known me forever - which is a little saddening. But like you, I've learned to pretty much answer to anything :)

Kathryn said...

Funny you should mention your name. I teach ESL to adults, and we have a lot of Russian women with a variation of your name, and there are about five or six different ways of saying it - Ilona, Alona, Alina, Alena, Elena, Ilana... maybe more...

My name's spelled K.A.T.H.R.Y.N. and no one ever gets it right - I'm over it though. But I'm a stickler for making sure my characters names aren't spelled in a difficult way. That's a pet peeve of mine.

Roni Loren said...

Yay, I was pronouncing it right. :) I have the same issue. I blame Rice-a-Roni and that Bobby Brown song from the eighties. It's Rah-nee, not Row-nee. Although that never stopped the macaroni jokes in grade school. :p

Mesmerix said...

My very best friend is Alaina, pronounced the same way. Now that I know this is how your name goes, I'll never mess it up. :)

G said...

One of my main characters is named "Aissa". As a matter of fact, quite of few of my female characters are modified from the name "Ayesha".

Rebekah said...

My first name {Rebekah} seems pretty obvious to me, but people see it written and I hear everything...ree-bu-kuh, reb-eekh, reebeekay, it's honestly quite hilarious to me.

If I say it they always spell it Rebecca, which granted is the more known spelling these days. But when I try and tell them how to spell it they get lost. lol.

Usually if it's in person I'll just ask for the form and write it in myself or hand them my drivers license, it saves time.

My last name {montgomery} oddly causes trouble too at times. Mostly when I lived in Hawaii though. McGummy was popular, as was Motogawi. ha. And kids just gave up completely and called me Auntie M. But kids in Hawaii are just too darn cute, so how can you mind a thing like that?

As for characters. I love unique character names, but if I do something that might be difficult it will be their formal name and they will have a much more normal nickname that they go by.

It's so distracting trying to read something and worry about how to pronounce the name the whole time, totally pulls you out of the story. I came across this in a fantasy piece I was critiquing for my crit group a few weeks ago and felt horrible but I finally just told him, the names have got to go...I couldn't pronounce a single one. Most were some mix between Swedish and Klingon I can only surmise, and had far too many consonants... Klrathnogchskava anyone?

MJ Fowler said...

Dear Elana, you will be proud to know that I can say your name right. I'm part Chilean, and your name pronunciation is spanish and very beautiful! In fact my husband and I even thought about naming our child Elana, but he turned out to be a boy :P

You have a very beautiful name :)

Dawn Kurtagich said...

Yep. Yepyepyepyepyep.

Not the "Dawn" part, but the "Kurtagich" part.

Kurt-ah-gich.

"gich" like "bitch" or "witch" or "stitch" or "snitch" (yay harry potter! The "g" is a heavy one, like in "golf"

:D

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