That's Not My NameNicole Paulhus

I have always loved of television. Growing up, I would watch the credits scroll across the screen with deep seeded jealousy. Who did these names belong to and did they realize how lucky they were? Their names were on TV! They got to be a part of it! It was the greatest accomplishment a TV obsessed kid could imagine.

After college, I was fortunate enough to secure a job on a show. The big night came when my childhood dream would be fulfilled. My name would be on TV! I was a part of it, albeit a minor coffee-fetching part, but a part nonetheless! My parents notified everyone they’ve ever met to tune in and see their daughter’s name. It was a huge deal. Then the moment came. I paused the TV to get a closer look at the name, my name. It read: Nicole Paulhaus. That’s not my name.

I deflated for about a second and then laughed. I came to terms with my name and its various misspellings long ago. It’s not one of those super challenging twenty letter with multiple consonants strung together kind of names. Those are the names people double and triple check to make sure they’ve spelled correctly. My name is just boring enough to not be looked at twice, but spelled oddly enough that it trips people up. In the grand scheme of things it’s really not a big deal. Did the misspelling of my name lessen my accomplishment? Not at all, and it would have been ridiculous to let a silly extra vowel rain on my parade.

Perhaps it is due to the frequent butchering of my own name that I find it crazy when people get infuriated with the misspelling of theirs. I have misspelled many a person’s name, who hasn’t? It happens, people have too many thoughts bouncing around their heads and make mistakes. It’s not personal and it certainly shouldn’t affect your value as a person. You will still be you even if your name is missing its U. Point out the mistake and move on. The misspelling of your name won’t lessen anyone’s view of you, but throwing a hissy fit because of it certainly might.

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  • Randi Carlson

    my bestie from HS is named beth, and when asked her name one day by a bus driver, her responded “Buck?”

    …seriously? Buck? Sir, get a handle on life…

    my name on the other hand is NEVER pronounced right, and evidently my valley accent doesn’t help… Brandy, Mandy, Angie… I’ve started resorting to Andi. People respond better to that than Randi… And now I feel like breaking into “That’s not my name…” Thanks, Nicole!

  • Veronica Padilla Garza

    I’ll add to this rant by saying that I’ve become comfortable (or maybe I haven’t, since I’m adding to the rant?) with people calling me Victoria. Veronica…Victoria…I guess I see the similarity?

  • Lindsay Ann

    My name is Lindsay Larsen, but everyone always spells it “Lindsey Larson”. I just started a job as a teacher and they put my name into the computer system with both of my names spelled wrong. I noticed that the login was wrong because it used my last name but I just noticed the welcome screen has my first name spelled wrong too. I already called the tech department once to have them fix it, now I have to call them again. But the funniest thing is that once I had a college roommate and her name was Lindsey. So we jokingly called ouselves “Lindsay-with-an-a” and “Lindsey-with-an-e”.

  • Harriette Gibbard Adam

    I won’t even START on my name (Best one ever was Hairnet Giblet Tomson…..REALLY?!) but my husband has a mildly challenging name and he once ordered business cards which arrived with the name ‘Jimmy Tree Adam’ on them….his names Dimitri.

  • Sarah Elkotbeid

    My last name is totally freaky and sometimes I don’t even know what to say when people ask me how to pronounce it. I just reply like “I don’t even know, dude” just so they could get of my back haha.
    But what was really funny once was the spelling of my first name. My name’s Sarah. Very generic and what not.
    Anyway, I’m going to order and the casheir asks for my name and I see them write “Cera” and I’m like WHAT PLANET DO YOU LIVE ON?!
    But I just say, “oh no, with the ‘S'”
    She has no clue what I’m talking about and asks to spell it and I’m just like “o.O”
    No one ever asks! Anyway, so I’m all tongue-twisted and confused for a moment and go “S-A-R-R-H-A” YES, I said that. I’m so retarded. Then I’m fumbling with my words like “wait, no, one R, H before A” finally, I just give up.
    I will never forget that day.

  • Sabina Kadic-Mackenzie

    I am regularly called Sabrina Cabbage MacKenzie when in fact it’s Sab-ina Kad-itch Mackenzie. Gets my goat when people get it wrong!

  • Michele Segroves

    The only time I get grumpy about my name being spelled wrong is when it is someone who should know better, family, friends, etc. My name is Maragret Michele Segroves, but most of the time it is Margaret Michelle Seagrobes…can’t you get at least one of them right? I understand when it is people who don’t know me, but when my family puts two l’s in Michele or misplaces the a in Maragret I get a little peeved…come on guys it’s been the same spelling for the last twenty three years work with me here.

    • Michele Segroves

      I also get very excited when I find magnets and things with my spelling of Michele on them, it’s pretty rare and if I don’t buy it I at least take a picture of it lol.

  • Jena Evans-Turnbull

    My first name has only one N so people usually get that wrong, I am okay with that. But my married name is TURNBULL – exactly how it sounds, turn and bull – two easy words, you would not believe how many people ask me to spell it for them and how many people misspell it and I am not talking one L or something, I am talking full out incorrect. I laugh it off, but it really never fails to blow me away when people get it wrong.

  • Carly Herron

    I get my first name spelled wrong all the time which isn’t too irritating since I know there are a lot of spellings of Carly, but the thing I always find funny is how people pronounce my name on the phone. My full first name is Carlyanne but I go by Carly. For some reason, anytime I get a phone call where someone is looking at my full first name they always call me Carol Anne. I’m pretty used to it by now so I just think it’s funny that everyone seems to read it that way.

  • Ximena Santillan Guerra

    I always get my name mispelled!! Now I’m getting used to it :S! First name and second name :S!
    I’m Grethel Ximena and I always have to spell both! because they write Gretell, Grettel or Gretel :S my second name, most of the time I have to say: It’s Ximena witth “X” or i have to prounounce it correctly, because in spanish the X sounds like an S, but people forget that and writes Jimena or Gimena. The other problem is my last name Santilan , they ALWAYS add an A at the end!

  • MJ Rojas

    I once got a Rohass….(my last name’s Rojas. Very Spanish)

  • Asha Galindo

    I love to see the spelling I get at starbucks but only because I have a super common first name (Ashley, asha is nickname that causes more grief if I try to get people to use it). It’s more funny to me than anything. I love seeing Ashely, Ashalee, and once Ashle.

    • Ashley Lynn Cook

      Yes girl! I’m telling you, every time people ask me how to spell Ashley I just stare O_o. lol! And when they write my name as the more “modern” spellings like Ashely, Ashly, Ashleigh and even Aashli (yes, I’ve seen it!) it just cracks me up…I’m like: “No, nono, just plain boring male/female spelling Ashley!” Haha! :-D

  • Colleen Sweeney

    My first name and last name are always misspelled. Always. At Starbucks, it’s been spelled Collene and Collieene. Most of the time they forget the extra “E” in both names. I just don’t care enough any more to correct the problem. And the same goes for how people pronounce my name. I worked with a woman for over a year who referred to me as ‘Collette.’ Drove my friend crazy when she’d do it.

  • Gabriela Varela

    i get my name mispelled all the time, both my full name and the shortened version i usually go by and i’ve learned to live with it, sometimes i’ll correct it but usually i can’t be bothered. but the worst was for the first half of high school the school records had my middle name spelled wrong, for some reason instead of Sue they had Sve (which i’m not sure is even a name) so for at least half of high school all my reports and things that had my full name on them said my middle name was Sve, despite asking them to change it several times. it became a bit of a joke with my friends but i found it pretty annoying. thankfully they got it right by the time i graduated

  • Bianca Koolmees

    People mispronounce both my names, and have immense difficulty spelling my last name even when I spell it out (I am biased, it being my name, but come on, look at it, it’s not that hard!) I was at Starbucks once, told them my name (pronounced the 10 Things I Hate About You way, of for tose of you who enjoy 80s cartoons- the Beverly Hills Teens way). What proceeded to be announced when my mocha frappucino was ready was some weird sort of gaming noise and indeed when I got my cup it looked like a cross between a comic book action word (e.g. ‘Boom!) and random symbols. Is it really that hard??
    My brother on the other hand has gone through life collecting trophies where his surname is mispelled in a number of different fashions. Eventually somebody got it right, but has mispelled his firstname. Sigh.

  • Andra Shannon

    My first name is Andra (And-ruh). People either call me Andrea, or pronounce it On-druh, which I guess is more understandable than adding a letter. Before I got married my last name was Csakany, so that was basically always misspelled and mispronounced. But I learned to laugh it off, and either correct them or not, depending on my mood.

  • Aldo Notarandrea

    i don’t really care if someone misspells it or not as long as they say it correctly.

  • Ashley Lynn Cook

    I was adopted by a wonderful Mexican family when I was a baby, and I don’t know if you can tell by my picture, but I am quite white and actually 6′ tall (they are 5′ and 5’5″) and subsequently they changed my name from the very Irish Amber Catherine Dooley to Ashley Lynn Flores. ANYTIME I would go to the doctor’s office or anywhere where’d they have to call my name out I’d hear: “Ms. Flores? Ms. Flores” and even with me raising my hand and walking towards them, they would look me over with the “There’s no way that’s a Flores” glance. LOL! When I married, my last name changed to Cook and in my opinion it suits me perfectly! FINALLY! *I know this isn’t quite what the article is about, but I thought I’d share anyhow – I was the one screaming NONO! That IS my name! lol cheers!

  • Katherine Costantini

    ” The misspelling of your name won’t lessen anyone’s view of you, but throwing a hissy fit because of it certainly might.”
    I tend to agree with you when people misspell or mispronounce my last name, but when my last name is misspelled on my business cards and people shrug and giggle, I get to be annoyed.

  • Zoë LeDuc

    my name is always pronounced wrong. i spell my first name without the y so it’s usually pronounced zo. then my last name changes anytime someone new says it. i usually get leduck, leduce, or ledic. it’s frustrating but at some point you start answering to zo leduck.

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