What Is A Name?

Posted 31/3/2015

Unusual names, they can be beautifully beneficial, but sometimes they can also hurt.

Everyone has a name, and even if that name is common, to the people who have that name it is still uniquely special to them. But what if your name has a quirk, has something about it that makes it difficult in some way? That is my situation.

My name is Michaela. It is now a very common name, but when I was named it only had but one variant. I was named after Michaela Dennis, a wildlife expert from the early 60s. She stuck in the mind of my mother as she broke one of the unwritten laws of wildlife study, she interfered!

Watching some young turtles hatch on the beach and making their way to the ocean while birds flew around picking them off, Michaela decided to help the one she was filming when a bird took notice and tried to catch it to eat it for breakfast! Michaela ran over, picked up the little baby turtle and ran down to the ocean edge and placed it in the water! It was all on film. It stuck with her, as did the name. That name then was given to me.

My name is pronounced me-ki-la and for years I never a problem but then one day someone called me meKAYla…. How awful to me it sounded, like some foreign drawl. I explained to the person how my name was pronounced and continued on.

Over the years this other new pronunciation has taken over so that now, that apart from my friends who do know my name, everyone else who do not know me calls my name this way. I would say about 99% of people acknowledge me when I correct them, but about 75% of those then still continue to say the wrong name. The others do correct themselves, for a while but the huge majority of those forget and go back to calling me the wrong way.

Now, I have been told by certain people that I should “answer to anything” or to “change it, its easier” Why the hell should I??  The new pronunciation is not my name! I love my name, the name given to me at birth. I love the name, the meaning, it is me. Call someone Maria who is actually called Marie, watch the reaction. It is the same.

Over the years I went through a stage of thinking, if I can not have my real name, I should change it, but then I started to think WHY SHOULD I?

Now, if you get offended by someone who corrects you in suggesting your pronunciation of their name is wrong, DON’T BE SO IGNORANT. Think before you say some condescending comment like I have had to endure.

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