Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for Y, not I

Naming me, according to my mom, was a real pain (if she had only known at the time what was ahead of her, naming me would have not seemed so bad; I was 10 lbs., had club feet and was a forceps delivery). 

It seems every name she came up with, my dad shot down. He, however, did not have any better ideas himself. The closest he came was wanting to name me Carol Ann or Carol Lynn if I were a girl. My mom was opposed to this, as her sister in law was named Carolyn and she didn't want to name me something that was so close to that. 

Finally, they settled on something; if I were a boy, I would be Jerry Dean (whew, dodged THAT bullet). When I was forcibly dragged brought into this world, I came out as Dyanne. And that "Y" would mark the beginning of a long love/hate relationship.

The spelling of my name came from a former 1st grade student of my mom's (she taught school for three years before she was married) and was the girl's middle name. My mom thought it was a pretty way to spell "Diane." Unusual. Unique.

A pain.

Having an unusually spelled name makes you realize how few people have a real grasp on phonics. Nor do they seem to pay attention to detail.

My name would be mispronounced or misspelled or both by teachers (especially substitute teachers), doctor's offices, roll calls of any kind, telephone solicitors, and potential employers calling for interviews. I have been called Dee Ann, Deanna, Diana, Dana, Dinah, Suzanne (never did figure out how she got that, but I gave up and answered to it for an entire semester when a college professor called me that at every single class), and, the WORST, Dwayne. If you want to be (or remain) my friend, NEVER CALL ME DWAYNE.

I am reconciled to having an unusually spelled name now, 53 years later. But when I was in high school and the trend was to wear a necklace with your name written in cursive letters, I was out of luck. There was no "Dyanne" on the rack. I'm still bitter.

My "Y" keeps me from being an ordinary Diane. I'm extraordinary. I'm Dyanne.

With a "Y."

26 comments:

  1. I love that you declare you are extraordinary! Great attitude. I fear I would have just become bitter. Like the Dwayne thing would have been the straw that broke the camel's back some time ago, and by now people would fear having to attempt to say my name aloud! But it's good you went another way with it and became stronger and more confident!

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    1. Well, SOMEBODY had to make that declaration.

      The Dwayne thing is a real sore spot; my straw that broke the camel's back was when I was a senior in high school and the Army recruiter called for Dwayne....

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  2. It's funny - I never even noticed the unusual spelling before, but now that you mention it...you are definitely extraordinary. (On the flip side, my name was so popular that all of the necklaces, magnets and mugs were sold out before I could ever get one. Bitter.)

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  3. I was eating and almost choked when I read "Dwayne". You poor thing.
    Mine is never mispronounced but still a spelling nightmare. I once said over the phone "It's Cyndy with two Y's" and the dumb-dumb said "So it's C-i-n-d-YY?" And after that I gave up on it being spelled correctly. Ever.

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    1. Ooo, I LIKE Cindyy! Would like even more to meet the moron who thought it made sense!

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  4. It's good to have an unusually spelled name - people often remember once you've made a fuss the first time. Makes you unforgettable.

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    1. You'd be amazed how many people forget that Y.

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  5. You ARE extraordinary.

    I never expected YOU to be a 10 lb baby. Holy moly! The only reason they had to use forceps is because if they didn't you would enter the world with great FORCE.

    Dwayne, really? YIKES. Though I get it. My name is just Kate. Not short for anything, especially not short for Katie. Call me Katie and you will be lucky to have two front teeth by the time our conversation is done. There is always one freebie, when I first meet you, but after that, no way no how. There are only two people in this world who get away with it, and I can guarantee the person calling me that isn't one of them. Whew.

    Kate at Daily discovery

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    1. My mom was a rockstar for that one.

      My daughter's middle name is Kate. Because it is a strong name for a strong woman. She has certainly lived up to that!

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    2. I think I've burned my one time use... But in my defense I've dated a many variety of Kates!

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  6. It is good to b extraordinary. I myself hav faced such problems and was called Afson , Afsaan and many more names : ( some think I am a guy !
    Whatever people's interpretations are I love my name and I feel yours is unique too :)

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    1. That's probably what bothered me the most about being called "Dwayne" -- I'M A GIRL!

      I'm glad we can be unique and extraordinary together, Afshan!

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  7. WELL, cool! I have an unquenchable interest in names. My ex husband once worked at a place with a guy named Outerback Horsey. Although I have no interest in my ex husband, that person, that real person, with the name Outerback Horsey, is a part of my memory bank, even though I never met him.

    One of my kids is named Dylan. We named him for Dylan, and for Dylan, you know? The singer and the poet! I never thought I would see any misspellings of his name but people often spell his name phonetically: Dillon. Also, just Monday someone called asking for "Dye-lan", I thought they had the wrong number for a while but instead of hanging up, something told me to be polite and patient, and it turned out to be someone wanting to help Dylan in some way, which is always nice.

    jean xox thanks for bringing such fun to the A-Z, Dyanne. :)

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    1. Outerback Horsey? Sweet! There's a man in my parents' town named Harry Pitts. Kid you not.

      My LAST name is Dillon. You can't believe how many IDIOTS spell it "Dillion." Like million. Really, people? No one ever spells it "Dylan", though, which would be far more respectable than "Dillion." At least it makes sense.

      Thanks for all your support, Jean! I always look forward to receiving comments from you!

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  8. God Bless your mother for pushing out a 10 pound baby! My daughter was 10lbs, 9oz and I was c-section all the way!

    I named my daughter Alicyn Catherine. After my grandmothers. My dad's mom was Catherine and my mom's mom was Alice, but Alice was a little too... "retro" for me. So, I modernized her name. However, it was still important to me that it contained my grandma's name and Allison or Alison just couldn't do that. My dear friend tells me that she'll hate me one day when she can't fine her name on personalized things, but I figure, that's why we have the internet! :-)

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    1. Family legend is that my mother weighed 13 pounds when she was born AT HOME. Makes what my mom did look like nothing much.

      Yeah, your daughter will totally hate you one day because of the spelling of her name. And then she will embrace it. Most of the time :)

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  9. I've been called Linden, Lyndon, Linda, Lillian,Lindy, anything but my actual name Lydia. Try and find that one on a necklace ...I feel your pain. Why do you think I blog under zoe?

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  10. I feel your pain... I've been called Jackie, Jaquelin, had my named spelled with a fucken "C" in it! What the hell?! Then there is the last name. "Creetin" being my favorite. Though, I accept a friend's nickname of Creeders :-)

    I don't even want to get started on the pronunciations of my actual name >.<

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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  11. Totally with you on the name thing. My mum wanted a biblical name for me and one which couldn't be shortened so Ruth was the first choice, but she decided it didn't fit with the surname so I became Eunice - and I've always hated it.

    It's old-fashioned and very few people know how to spell it - I usually get Unis. At secondary school the headmaster insisted on calling me You-nee-cee so I was picked on and teased mercilessly by other kids for years.

    I've had the name too long now to think about changing it officially but I often wish my mum had stuck with Ruth. And as for people - especially celebs - who give their kids unusual, quirky and sometimes stupid names, I wonder if they ever consider how that kid will feel when it grows up?!

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    1. Yet another person who understands! My kids have short names, four letters each, that cannot be mispronounced or shortened or misspelled (unless you're INCREDIBLY stupid). Can you imagine having to go through life with a name like Apple?

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  12. My first and last names are both somewhat complicated, and my email address at work is my first name and last name. I'm constantly having to spell it out. My first name, having two r's in a row causes trouble, and my last name has n, t,b, and s, which all are difficult to hear properly over the phone.

    Also, I've been called every name that's even kind of close to my name. I've gotten used to just answering to whatever people call me, but it aggravates me that people can't just listen and repeat what's been said. I did NOT say my name is Karen, thankyouverymuch.

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  13. Ha ha ha! I too was called "Duane" (how I saw it in my head) many times - I really related to this post! :)))) Thanks for letting me know about it. You weren't hijacking anything, no worries.

    Take good care and keep on being uniquely beautiful!
    Dyane with a "y"

    p.s. this topic reminds me of Anne with an "e" Shirley from "Anne of Green Gables", one of my fave books!


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    1. Glad you enjoyed this, Dyane! I knew you would understand as soon as I saw your name on Kitt's comments!

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