SCPL Online NonFiction Book Club discussion

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
One day we'll all be dead... > How to say Scaachi

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by SCPL (new) - added it

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
I thought this topic warranted a mention because, let's be honest, there's nothing worse than having someone pronounce your name wrong all. the. time.

I have experienced this first-hand, though probably not to the extent that Scaachi has. Do you know how many ways a (relatively) simple name like Marcella can be pronounced? It's more than you think. And some of them aren't even CLOSE.

Although it's not in the book, Scaachi did write an entire article dedicated to the history behind, and the pronunciation of, her name. You can read it here:

Does anyone else have a name that others can't seem to get right?

Heidi Madden | 118 comments So my name is Heidi. It’s not the most common name out there but generally people can pronounce it. Spell it? Not so much (Hiedi, Hidy, Hedi, etc.) but they can pronounce it. Scaachi talks about accents changing how her name is pronounced. I remember years ago being in a very busy Starbucks. I was listening to the barista calling out drinks and I told my friend “watch, he’s going to call me “Hay-day” and he did! I don’t even remember what his ethnic background might have been but I recognized the accent and how that transforms my name.

Interestingly when *I* am speaking in French *I* screw up my OWN name. “Je m’appele ‘eidi” I always want to drop the “H” like you do in French but then I have to stress it and say “non, mon nom est Hhhhheidi, Je m’appelle Heidi” – with a really breathy over emphasized “H” sound. It’s embarrassing.

One more story, when I was in Spain I got a Starbucks cup with my name spelled “Aydy” I mean it makes sense right? “Heidi” with a Spanish accent is “ ‘eydy” so they got it right!

message 3: by SCPL (new) - added it

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Those are great examples Heidi! I had a very good friend named Heidi growing up and when I look at my little journals that I wrote as a ten-year-old, I constantly spelled her name "Hiedi"! One would think I would figure it out sooner or later but no such luck...

Also Megan. I have a lot of trouble spelling that name too and my cousin (Megan) still calls me out on it!

My name has also taken on lots of interesting forms. Mostly, people can't decide what to do with that letter "c". Is it Mar-kella? Mar-chella? Mar-sella? (It's the last one) This conversation is almost inevitably followed up by asking if I'm Italian. (I'm not - my parents just liked the name) Then there's those who just take away the L and A at the end entirely and call me Marcel. (???)

It's interesting how names can cause so much frustration! At the end of the book [spoiler alert], Scaachi includes a conversation when she asks her father to write her bio for the book. In that bio, he admits that his "revenge will be complete" because he named his daughter with a silent C! He seems like a quirky sort of fellow who would probably make me laugh!


message 4: by Jean (last edited May 19, 2018 09:04AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jean | 5 comments Heidi wrote: "So my name is Heidi. It’s not the most common name out there but generally people can pronounce it. Spell it? Not so much (Hiedi, Hidy, Hedi, etc.) but they can pronounce it. Scaachi talks about ac..."

Heidi, The spelling of your name is traditional. That makes it easier!

Marcella, I like pronouncing your name "Marchella", that makes it more exotic!

My first name, Jean or Jeannie looks easy enough. I get everything spelling-wise and pronunciation-wise too. Jinny (Ginny), Jenny, Jane, Jeana (Gina), Jeannine (which I like), eg. In French my name sounds too close to Jenny.

message 5: by Diana (last edited May 18, 2018 09:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Diana (librariandi) | 23 comments Hello all,

I thought I'd chime in here too! I think it's interesting to see that names we wouldn't necessarily think of as unfamiliar (even Jean!) can be difficult to spell/pronounce!

I tend to think my name, Diana, while not super duper common, is pretty simple. However, I was always that kid searching for personalized keychains and such and coming up empty. Diane and Danielle, sure thing, but never Diana! I'm sure there was definitely never a Scaachi lol.

I nearly always get Diane instead of Diana (made doubly confusing at work since my boss is Diane!). I also frequently, and suprisingly, get Deanna. Even people who have known me my whole life (friends of the family, etc.) STILL call me Diane. I corrected my high school gym teacher literally every day for 4 years, to no avail.

Finally, it's not *quite* the same but because my sister is nearly 12 years younger, I "helped" my parents with choosing her name. Being 11, I wanted something unique, so I came up with all these alternative spellings for "Lindsay". My parents ended up compromising from my quirky suggestions to Lindsey. No one's ever gotten it right. A whole life of Christmas cards addressed to Ray, Kim, Diane and Lindsay. Sigh.

message 6: by Jean (last edited May 19, 2018 09:07AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jean | 5 comments Diana,

This discussion is made for interesting anecdotes!

You reminded me of looking for stationary when I was young. There was only Jean!

I had a cousin Gina, and her dad would always call me that! To add to the confusion, we had the same last name and she loved me and started spelling Gina with a J. My Aunt still calls me Ginny to this day because her English pronunciation is so poor! I think she had something to do with an engraving on my christening silverware, because I have a cup that has "Ginny" on it.

My Mom, deriving my name after my Grandma, Ifigenia, spelled it Jeanie on my birth certificate. She later watched the tv show, "I Dream of Jeannie" and thought she incorrectly spelled it so changed it but not on my birth certificate. I was so upset with my name spelling, I had it corrected on my birth certificate.

message 7: by SCPL (new) - added it

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
This name situation is more problematic than I thought!

Diana - thanks so much for sharing! I must admit that even I have called you Diane on more than one occasion {embarrassed pause} but isn't it amazing how family members / friends still can't get names right after decades?! Jean, you mentioned this too! My brother's name is Eric and my aunt has pronounced it "Ear-ick" his entire life. No one else calls him that - just her!

I love how you brought up the matter of the stationary, Jean! When I was younger I was desperate to find stickers or mugs or notebooks with my name on it. Alas, I never did. It was always "Marcie" or "Maria" but never "Marcella!" I'm (kind of) over it now but I fell like I did miss out! ;-)


Diana (librariandi) | 23 comments Well, I must say, at least it's nice to know I wasn't the only kid out there disappointed about the personalized stationery ;)

message 9: by Anne (new)

Anne Vandermey | 11 comments I have a relatively simple first name, Anne, so I haven't had many issues with pronunciation but I have frequently had it spelt Ann. I am very proud of the e at the end of my name, similar to Anne Shirley's reaction in Anne of Green Gables, and still frequently correct people's spelling. I do sympathise with your Marcella as I frequently find Ann or Anna but no Anne - that e is really important!

My father on the other had has a Dutch first name but he goes by a nickname. We always know when the telemarketers are calling because they never can pronounce it.

message 10: by SCPL (new) - added it

SCPL (st_catharines_public_library) | 542 comments Mod
Thank you for your comments Anne with an E! :)

It is interesting how spelling one's name correctly is important to a person's identity. When people ask me how to spell my name, I go over it slowly, making sure they have it correct. I don't just say, "Ah well - whatever works best for you!"

That's a great way to weed out the telemarketers too Anne!

back to top