Can you change the way people pronounce your last name?

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  • #1418421

    Lightbrite
    Participant

    If you’re last name is pronounced a certain way, and you want to tweak the pronunciation, can you ultimately change the way that people pronounce your last name now and in the future?

    Thank you 🙂

    #1418600

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Is it that you have a common last name that everyone pronounces it a certain way and you don’t? or you just want to tweak it for no apparent reason? e.g. the store Target. Most pronounce it as it is spelled. Tar-get. Others want it to sound fancy so they say Tar-shay (sort of a french twist).

    I know someone with the surname “Frei” and they pronounce it Fry. Others in the family pronounce it Fray.

    #1418611

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    When I was growing up in New Haven there was a branch of the Levine family who accomplished just that.
    They started capitalizing the V in the middle of the name and became LeVine. This was a ‘faux French’ affectation.
    It worked, I now know 4 generations of the family whose name is commonly pronounced with the long I sound.

    #1418653

    litvishechossid
    Participant

    Never heard anyone call it tar-shay. Maybe they weren’t even reffering to target

    #1418660

    akuperma
    Participant

    If you name is pronounced different that what people in your area assume from how it is written, you can consider changing your name, resigning yourself to the pronounciation changing to reflect where you live, or go around constantly telling people a preferred pronounciation. It is very common when people move, and especially when they move to a place where the language, or at least the dialect, is different.

    #1418681

    Geordie613
    Participant

    This is a common difference between American and English/British pronunciation. For names we tend to use the European pronunciation, whereas generally Americans anglicise it.
    I met someone called Gutman, and he introduced himself to me as Gut (rhyme with nut) man. I did not know what he meant until he wrote his name down. Then I said “Oh! Gut (rhyme with foot) man!”. Or, when my boss’s daughter got engaged to an American called Levin, which we would pronounce ‘Leveen’. When I asked him where the ‘Leveen’ family were from, he snapped and said “its LEVin!” (to rhyme with Kevin).

    To answer LB’s question, I think you can’t force people to pronounce anything the way you want them to. Just say it your way often enough until they copy you.

    Incidentally, JK Rowling (whose name rhymes with bowling). has said that she is the only person to pronounce the name Voldemort correctly. She intended the final ‘t’ to be silent, giving it a French twist. Now who calls him that, (if they are brave enough mention his name at all)?

    #1418683

    apushatayid
    Participant

    You cant change the way anyone does anything. The only person you can change, is yourself. You CAN try to influence their actions.

    #1418684

    apushatayid
    Participant

    I wonder if the NBA player Zach Lavine is from the LeVine family.

    #1418693

    Joseph
    Participant

    Geordie, I’m disappointed you’re so acquainted with pop culture that you’d know anything about that Voldemort thing.

    #1418699

    iacisrmma
    Participant

    litvishechossid: Many Long Islanders (jewish and non jewish) refer to Target as “Tarshay”.

    #1418712

    Joseph
    Participant

    The only way to get people to change is to, in addition to putting down your name, also phonetically write down how your name is pronounced — the way that is done in dictionaries.

    #1418770

    Joseph
    Participant

    iac, unless they’re kidding around only idiots use that fake French accent to make themselves sound more upscale.

    #1418836

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Joseph, HP is probably the only non-sports culture thing I know about. Sadly, even though it’s complete rubbish, it’s the best rubbish I’ve ever read.

    #1418847

    Avi K
    Participant

    LB, you can correct them and refuse to answer to the mispronunciation. As for local pronunciation, people should be aware of differences. Growing up in NYC I knew that it was How-stin St. but Yoo-stin TX. Then there was Lon Guyland and Hizzoner Da Mayuh.

    #1418844

    Joseph
    Participant

    “it’s the best rubbish I’ve ever read.”

    How much rubbish do you read??

    #1418882

    apushatayid
    Participant

    “it’s the best rubbish I’ve ever read.”

    Even better than the rubbish routinely found in the coffee room?

    #1420816

    Geordie613
    Participant

    Joseph & apushatayid,
    Yes it is better than some of the rubbish here, especially the recent vintage. What happened to a good game of Geography?

    #1421744

    That’s tar’ZHAY. (If your peer group is mostly made up of male
    and/or yeshivish Orthodox Jews, you might not have heard it.)

    #1421751

    No comment from you on the sports, Joseph – so do you find that acceptable? : )

    #1421781

    Geordie613
    Participant

    (He’s trying to find out what sports English and South Africans would follow. At the moment he’s probably trying to understand cricket. Good luck)

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