Friday, November 11, 2011

The Name Game

I would like to know why it is so hard to say or spell my name correctly.

My name is Jo Ann. Two words, no e. No, there is not an e anywhere in my name, unless you count my confirmation name.


I was named after my dad and his mother. His name was Joe. His mother’s name was Viola Antonia.

Mine name came out Jo Ann Viola.

That’s VI-ola, like the flower, not VEE-ola like the instrument.

I once worked for a man who introduced me as VEE-ola. No matter how many times I asked him to pronounce it correctly, he would grin and pronounce it wrong. This did not win respect for him. And what a silly thing to carry power over.


I go to the doctor’s office and I get called Joan, Joanie, Jane or Diane. I worked for a judge who persisted in calling me Maria. Don’t ask me what that was all about. I got called Maria for five years, even though I never responded to the name.


I don’t answer to Jo. My Dad was Joe, my brother, three uncles and a cousin were all Joes. I have two nephews named Joe. My name is not Joe.


My husband is the only other person who spells my name correctly. It’s probably one of the reasons I married him.

My siblings spell it Joann, JoAnn, Joanne or any variation of that. Gmail and Facebook insist that I spell it JoAnn; neither will allow for the space.

My alma mater’s computerized system threw me out because of the space in my name. For more than a year the registrar told prospective employers that I did not graduate from that fine institution. I’m still mad about that. So now I’m in there, but my name is misspelled. I’d send them a contribution, but I can’t spell my name on a check.


Last week I was spelling my name in an office and the receptionist actually argued with me about the spelling of my name. She said it could not be Jo Ann without an e.


And I just noticed the other day that my name is spelled wrong on my driver’s license. How and when did that happen?!


I’m not winning this argument.

Even my mother calls me Joy-Cin-Ann-- oh heck, she yells, you know who you are!


Yeah. Apparently, I’m the only one who does.


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