Sunday, July 20, 2008

Differently Spelled, Differently Abled

My mom, the self-professed “ancient progenitor,” had something to say about the rise of a different spelling for my name. I’m paraphrasing, so you don’t get the full warp and woof of her comic voice, but here’s her observation:

All your life, you’ve had this exotic, unpronounceable name. And though you’ve come to accept it and make it your own, it wasn’t easy for you. (Sorry about that.) [Yes, she speaks in parenthetical asides.]

Now, by some crazy twist of fate, your name has become one of the most uttered names in the country, and while this could have simplified your life, he had to go and spell it differently. So you have a new problem. I can just see it — for the next four or even eight years, every time you have to spell your name, people will think you’re joking or delusional or worse. At the very least, you’ll have to say something like, “Barak — no ’see.” And they’ll reply, “Oh, I’m sorry! Can you hear?”

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