Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Annoying Part of French Heritage

Yesterday, I mentioned one part of my heritage. Today, I'll speak of another part, the French side (I'm an American mutt--there are several others in there, too, and the French is by way of Canada). My mom named me, after her aunt Jeannette. Her first choice was “Rose” but my dad vetoed that. I’ve never forgiven him for it.

Because no one gets my name right. I’ve been called, Jane, Jeannie, Jeanine, Jee Anne, Jahne, Joanne (a little amusing since one of my blog friends really is Joanne Fritz), and also yelled at for correcting the person who pronounced it wrong. Maybe I should've taken a page from Stephen Colbert's book and answered: "It's French. Bitch." 

It’s ridiculous. There weren’t even any Jeans to confuse me with when I was in high school. Then in college, I was astonished to meet someone with the same name as me (and just to note: she was about twenty years older than me, too). I asked her: “Do people mispronounce your name?” Her answer was a heavy sigh.

It also didn’t help when Christina Aguilera came out with that damn song which I will never, ever name. Every day in eighth grade, people shouted it at me as I walked down the hall. And when I sat down to lunch. And when I was in class studying.

I hated Middle School. How I envied those named Katie, Sarah and Rachel. Everyone knows how to say those names. And they aren’t distinctive enough to be noticed and commented on. I wonder if they ever envied me for having something unpronounceable but unique.

I can’t imagine they would.

Thoughts? Any of you out there with “boring” names wish for something more exotic? Or vice-versa? I’d love to hear your opinion on your name.


  1. no one pronounces Jhon correctly and I don't bother to correct them, ever - but I like it quite a bit. My wife, Kara, is often the victim of mispronunciation and yes, she gets yelled at for correcting people. short a, long a - which is how it should be pronounced but I never fault anyone their own pronunciation of their own name - I wouldn't care if they spelled it fdas and pronounced it - mary.

  2. Names need pronunciation codes. I often complain about this, especially when I have to call roll. Because, invariably, I'll mispronounce someone's name. I hate it when that happens. I try. But when the girl's name is Ekkoe, sometimes my best guess isn't good enough.

    I used to want a more exotic name. Then I started subbing. Plain and simple is good enough now.

  3. I can't believe people would yell at you for telling them how to pronounce your name! That's insane!

    I occasionally wish for something more exotic. Instead I just turned "Susan" into "Su", which at least looks more exotic.

  4. Jhon: People mispronounce your name? I guess I can see that. But Kara?

    Liz: I hate the trend of unusual spellings for names, mostly because it reminds me of all the mispronunciations I dealt with growing up and how much I hated them.

    Su: Yes, I had a few people insulted when I corrected them on the pronunciation of my name. Why, I have no idea. And I like Su. Whenever I see it, I know exactly who's commenting (as if the picture wasn't enough:).

  5. People often wonder how to pronounce my name or get it wrong, lucky none of them has yelled at me.

  6. I always disliked my actual name, which is Martin. Hence using William as part of the penname.


Please validate me.