O what’s in a name?

From the site Words I Love, a word for today (well, actually, it was from the 8th):


Not included in the definition and examples: c.f. everything Joss Whedon has ever written, or maybe just all the Buffy scripts.

I identify with his name-shortening gripe. My folks settled on the name Anna after a long gruesome battle between Benjamin and Annemarie. Then they, my siblings, and the assorted random person proceeded to call me “Ann” for the next thirty years. (Oh, I got some Annie‘s and some Banana‘s, but largely “Ann” was my name.) I can understand the family doing it, but it’s weird at work when I’m walking around wearing a nametag with my full name printed in clear bold serif font* and people hail me with “Hello, Ann!” Like Anne of Green Gables, I can totally hear that lack of an “e.” Jerks.***

I had a boss once who called me “Ana” (or Ahna) as a joke. I got an even bigger kick out of it when I met a pretentious girl in college who had, upon beginning her freshmen year, had told everyone to pronounce her name that way, even though she’d been plain old nasally-A Anna just like me all through high school. It was awkward.

Anyway, all this has resulted in my excessive overpronunciation of the second syllable when I meet people for the first time. Sometimes it works, and sometimes people are just determined to name me themselves.

“Hello, my name is AnNAAAA.”
“Um. Okay.” [sidles away] “Nice to meet you, Ann.”

Ah, well.

* Maybe it’s the serif.** Those little curlicues sure can throw people off. Sans serif all the way!
** I didn’t know what the hell this was until a few years ago. Thank god I’ve finally found a useful place to deposit the information.
*** I don’t know why Anne with an e is preferable. It just is. “Ann” is definitely sour-faced.


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