I don’t mind when people mispronounce my name. In fact I expect it. A certain sportscaster in Canada with the exact same first and last name has been mispronouncing it for years, so really it’s a given that at some point or another people will mispronounce my name. I accept it like I accept the fact that most people will think I’m American before I drop the subtle hints that actually I’m Canadian somewhere in our conversation. This doesn’t bother me at all.

That being said, misspelling my name, especially in an email, annoys me beyond belief. It’s plastered on my linkedin profile, on my twitter page, on facebook and worst of all in the actual email address that people are using to write to me. How do you misspell a name that’s included in an email address? I guess the fact that rarely are people able to say my name correctly makes the fact that people misspell my name so much harder to swallow, when it’s RIGHT THERE for most people. The number of people who continue to do this begs belief. It makes me say “Really?” every time I see an email, that starts off with Fahan, Faran, Fashan, or, as I read today, Farfan. Really, so my aunt, who named me, thought Farfan was a good name (apologies to any Farfan’s out there)?

I vented on twitter and found that I wasn’t alone in this, and while Shana wanted to write a blog post on netiquette I thought I would just tackle the subject of getting the basics right. Note: Steve’s tweet makes me think maybe I’m making a bit much out of it, or at the least I should change my name.

My wife kills me on my grammar and spelling. Being a primary school teacher she finds it super annoying when I use “there” instead of “they’re” or “their”, in my head I know the difference, but I write blog posts like I try to launch product, early and basically. Sometimes I get things wrong. I’m okay with that. While I know a lot of readers probably wince when they see some of the failings I’ve had in the past, I hope I’m getting better. That’s the point of writing for me, to get better.

However, when it comes to someone’s name, this I feel an obligation to spell correctly. For no other reason then I know how it feels to get it wrong. When I do get it wrong I apologize profusely and feel bad for ages. I would hope that people who get my name wrong feel the same way, but when it happens repeatedly sometimes I have a feeling they don’t. Eventually, I hope they’ll get over it, like I usually do. I won’t let it stop a deal or anything of any importance and I hope the same can be said when I’m the one making an error.

So there, it’s out in the open at least and now whenever I see someone has spelt my name incorrectly at least I’ll be able to put this post in the signature and then move on.

  • James Thurlow

    As Sergeant Hulka said to Psycho, “Lighten up, Francis”. Just kidding. I completely agree with you. Some things you should just get right.