Mispronouncing Names

As I was sitting around last night, trying to come up with a blog post for today, the thought popped into my head that my name is one of those names that can be easy to mispronounce.

I have had experience with mispronouncing names. Mostly I do pretty well, but then there is the sad case of Felicia.

Felicia. My lovely friend and long-time pen pal. We've known each other since we were twelve, maybe? And we've never met in person, or spoken with each other on the phone, but she's the sweetest girl, and a dear friend to me.

For all those years I always pronounced her name Fel-EE-Sha, in my head. I just thought that was how to say it.

Until a couple years ago when Felicia answered one of those survey things on Facebook, and I discovered that it was not, indeed, the proper way to pronounce her name.

Her name should be pronounced Fel-EE-SEE-Uh.

Fel-EE-SEE-uh. Fel-EE-SEE-Uh. Fel-EE-SEE-Uh.

I'm afraid I still pronounce her name Fel-EE-Sha in my head. I'm sorry, Friend. Old habits die hard.

So, lest any of you should suffer the same fate-slash-embarrassment, I'm going to clarify something right now.

My name (which is Callie, in case you didn't know) is pronounced Cal-Lee. Short "a", as in "Cat". "Lee", as in Sarah Lee.

Just so we're clear.

Now, don't you feel like you know me better now that you can be certain of my name pronunciation?

My Friend, please, please forgive me if we ever meet and I say Fel-EE-Sha. I assure you, I will be mortified to say it aloud, even though I'm afraid you'll always be Fel-EE-Sha in my thoughts.

If any of you have unusual names, or unusual pronunciations of your names, now would be the time to clarify.

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Lauren said...

haha love this! Isn't it funny how the pronunciation can get so screwed up! You'd think people would know how to pronounce Lauren (not Loren)...but unfortunately that is often not the case!

Felicia said...

Haha oh Callie, I love you. :D Do people actually say your name wrong? I think it sounds exactly like it's spelled! And I've told you that you're not really wrong in pronouncing my name, right? Because that's the normal English way of saying it. My parents grew up in Mexico and my pronunciation is the Spanish way of saying it. I'll forgive you for saying it wrong, cuz I have people in my everyday life that I've corrected many times and they still say it wrong :P

Natalie said...

i'm glad I was thinking your name right : )
what do people think it is? like cay-lee??

Amanda said...

When I married my husband, I suggested we change our last name to Goodin so that people wouldn't misspell or mispronounce it. Of course, we kept it Godin (long "o" as in "I'm going to the store") not God-in, like "in God we trust". Some people say Golden, too, but there is no 'L' in my last name. I'm afraid that once you have a name that people mispronounce, there is little you can do about it. :( This is precisely why I don't like weird name spellings. Our children will have normal, boring names for sure ;)

AmyK said...

Haha, excellent. I hate it when that happens! And what about Phylicia Rashad? I thought her name was pronounced "Feh-lee-sha" for a long time, too, but then found out it's pronounced "Feh-LISH-a," and I felt so goofy!

When I started reading this I was afraid you were going to reveal some funky pronunciation of your first name! I was gonna cry! But I'm good, 'cause I had it right. (I actually had an imaginary friend named Callie when I was a kid--did I ever tell you that?)

I promise my name is pronounced Ay-mee. Just like it looks, just like everyone else pronounces it. No funky tricks there!

Unknown said...

Your so right. I do pretty well at pronouncing others names until I had to buddy up with another Nurse recently. On paper her name was written as SOFIA. So i assumed oh it's like SO-FEE-A!

Then when I met her she had to correct me. In fact it was SO-FI-AHH! (just like SAPPHIRE). I do think it adds a certain qurkiness.

katie said...

Fun post, to me. My first name is easy to say. But I haven't ever had a last name that people pronounce easily and I'm okay with that.

Jessica said...

I'm glad I have been pronouncing your name correctly in my head! Haha! My name is obviously very easy to pronounce. But one of my favorite girl's names recently has been Evy. Short 'e' sound. But if I ever have a daughter, I don't think I'd be able to name her Evy, because no one would ever know if it was pronounced with a short or long 'e' and that would just bother me. haha!

Kelley said...

i have several friends named either alicia or elicia, and every single one of them pronounces it differently! It makes my brain hurt thinking about it!

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