Is it just me or does anyone else want to scratch something when someone tries to change their name? So, ny name is Joycellyn. It’s pronounced in two syllables: ‘Joyce’ ‘Llyn’. My experience is that many people hear me introduce my name and stop me part way because they think they know what it is: ‘Joyce’. No! ‘Jocelyn’ (pronounced, ‘Jo’ ‘Sir’ ‘Lin’. That’s not my name!Am I being petty? No! My name is no anything else but Joycellyn. I love my name – it’s a different name to the above mentioned and it’s quite unique. I don’t want to shorten it, and as much as I understand that someone reading it may pronounce it differently when reading it out, when I introduce my name, I don’t expect someone to try to correct me on the pronunciation! I’m not Mrs Bucket, trying to call myself Mrs Bouquet! The two names Jocelyn and Joycellyn have two completely different meanings…
We learn to say ‘Tutankhamen’ – you know the Egyptian king, without asking t o call him ‘Tut’, which I think is a lot more of a tongue-twister than my simple two-syllabled demarkation.
At the last election, the woman at the desk of the local polling station asked me to confirm my name when my family and I went down to vote. I told her my name, and she actually replied ‘Jocelyn’ in the mist curt way that I had to correct her…’No, ‘Joyce-Llyn’, to which she replied, ‘Jocelyn’; at which point I told her a few home truths about doing the job and not trying to educate other people about the pronunciation of their own name.
Then the other bug bear is name shortening. My name is not ‘Joyce’, never has been and neither do I want to be called it. I get that a lot: ‘Can I call you Joyce?’ No. If I wanted you to call me Joyce, I would introduce myself as ‘Joycellyn, but you can call me Joyce.’ What would you shorten Claudia or Tara to? Come on!
Worst of all is when the name shortened goes ahead and shortens the name and then introduces me to other people with hat name. The stress of it all.
What do you think about name shortening? Does it happen to you? How do you handle it?
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.