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On having a Weird Name

With a name like Deirdre, I've become accustomed to having my name mis-spelled. It happens on mail, at work, on convention badges, and even when I get something published.

I take it in good humor, joking when I can. The best fun recently was at the Pirate-theme Capricon, where I got many laughs telling people that they'd left one of the "Arrrrrs" out of my name, until someone in registration heard the laughter and insisted on providing me with a replacement badge.

This year, at Duckon, they got my badge right--in 14 point type that no one could see at any distance--and my placards for programming wrong. I re-wrote my name on the back of the placard--but pen does not show up at a distance the way letters printed large do.

One of the panels I was on was Writing in Someone Else's World, a panel that ellenmillion had said she would have liked to hear. This prompted me to request of the audience that if they were recording, I'd appreciate if there might be some way to get a copy. No one had a recorder, but someone was taking notes, and shared them with me.

In the notes, the other three panelists were identified by name.  I was "???"

"???" isn't going to help anyone find me or my work sometime later. 

Should I have used the mis-spelled placard?  I'm inclined to think not--Google isn't likely to find me if I'm mis-spelled, and for the time being, I need to be found online.

I suspect I'm going to feel less good humor about people getting my name wrong in the future. 

Which, of course, is unlikely to be helpful. 

I guess I'll have to try to figure out something constructive to do about it.  But what?


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 21st, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
Letter stickers?
or a Really Big Sharpie.

In recurrent attendance, either one would get the attention of the con staff, I think.

(red pen the misspelling in editorial notation in Bright Red Sharpie?)
Jun. 21st, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
Concoms change, often without warning. Recent Duckons had a very good track record with my name (and other aspects of running a con that I appreciated seeing done well). However, there's been a big change in personnel.

Perhaps I need to pack a bag with things like the red sharpie that goes with me to panels at conventions, and doesn't get unpacked at home.
Jun. 21st, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
I like the red sharpie. :-)

Memorable, that way. I remember at Albacon the author who had 15 names.
Jun. 21st, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Bring a replacement placard for the future!
Jun. 21st, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
I tend to save table-tents when they have my name spelled right -- you never know when they'll come in handy. And some cons have good-looking ones.
Jun. 21st, 2011 02:18 am (UTC)
I do save them sometimes, but I haven't been organized about getting them to the next convention. I guess that has to change.
Jun. 21st, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
Sticker paper that goes through your printer, and your name, in a nice clear legible font, in several different sizes? What a pain, I'm sorry.
Jun. 21st, 2011 11:52 am (UTC)
The sympathy is appreciated.

Of course, the issue is bigger than table tents, and I'm not sure I've even identified all of the ramifications of being, effectively, "???". It's something to ponder, I suppose.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 21st, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
It has always been my understanding that the last vowel is a schwa, not a long "e" sound. I've heard Deerdree, Deerdee, Deedree, and many other variations, and that's before you get to spelling!

The name suffers from being Gaelic, and breaking English spelling rules, from the "i before e" rule to things that aren't codified, but trip people up all the time, (like the consonant combination rdr).

People mangle Siobhan worse, until they hear it spoken aloud, but at least it looks so alien (and any English-based pronunciation scheme leads to such an an unappealing-sounding name) that once they hear it aloud they tend to remember the pronunciation. But my sister deals with the misspellings too.
Jun. 21st, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)
I grew up with a Diedre, Dee-druh. After all of elementary school listening to her spell & pronounce her name for substitute teachers, I have a hard time with any other spelling ;-)

Of course, you'll always be Dandelyon to me. :-)
Jun. 21st, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
That's cool! Unlike Dee and Deedee, Dandelyon (and even Wyld) are names I like.
Jun. 22nd, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
That's the lovely thing about chosen-names, isn't it? :-D
Jun. 22nd, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)
Over here where I come from, you would not have that spelling problem, it is a normal name here :) and Deirdre would be pronounced without prolonging the last syllable: Deirdre, not Deirdreeeee.

Jun. 26th, 2011 07:32 am (UTC)
My daughter, Aislinn, noted that when she visited Ireland it was really weird because everyone knew her name.
Jun. 26th, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's common enough here, usually spelled Aisling but often Aislinn too.

Have you Irish relatives or do you just like the names? (nothing wrong with that, they are nice names.)
Jun. 27th, 2011 01:44 am (UTC)
My father's mother was a Martin before becoming a Murphy; my mother's maiden name was O'Connor.

I do also like the names, however. :-D
Jun. 26th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC)
That would be frustrating. I suffer from an odd surname that gets mangled on a regular basis. I think for you, going to cons is one way of getting your writing and name out, so it's important that it be spelled right. While you don't want to take a "I'm too precious you must do this" attitude (not that I could see you doing that), it is important that you get the credit you are due. I agree with the suggestions: either a sharpie to make the corrections yourself, or a pre-printed (and maybe even pre-decorated?) name tag thing, either from a place that has spelled it correctly or one you've made yourself.
Jun. 26th, 2011 07:31 am (UTC)
Pre-decorated might be really cool. I think I really need to just put together a bag of stuff that always goes with me to panels, that never gets unpacked. It could go in there.
Jun. 26th, 2011 08:20 am (UTC)
I think something pre-decorated would also help you stand out a little more at a con, be a little more memorable. Maybe a drawing of a different character (waist-up) on the two left/right sides of the paper, holding a scroll that has your name in nice lettering?
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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