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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
8th-Apr-2011 09:49 am
Happy birthday to my beloved Adam! Remember, what he wants most is for you to sponsor him!

State of the 'Song
Worn to a frazzle.

Walk for Change!
Team Venture is currently in sixth place, but we're less than $100 from fourth place!

Sponsor a walker today! Sponsor yendi, kythryne, fiddle_dragon, miss_lisa_ma, feste_sylvain... due to illness, I don't think the other two are walking, but you could sponsor them anyway. :)

This is our last push! The walk is THIS SUNDAY!

How to get me to carry cash
The baristas at the Central Square Starbucks have picked up a habit that I am sure is corporate-engineered to manufacture a sense of connection and cheery rapport - when they swipe your card, they cheerily then refer to you by name.

Getting my name legally changed has been low on my priority list. So I get the fingernails-on-the-chalkboard of the mispronunciation of my legal name with my coffee.


Which does lead me to ponderings of "when do you correct people?" It depends on how casual the exchange is, I guess.... but also, "how long will correcting this person take?" In the case of my name, it takes a minimum of five minutes and sometimes up to half an hour - depends how aggressively the person insists that if they just mangle my name over and over and over they can totally say it*. Generally it also involves me giving a miniature linguistics lecture about Proto-Indo-European language bases and why you can't say my legal name properly unless you grew up with Finno-Ugric instead of or in addition to PIE, because the vowel in my name does not exist in PIE-derived languages. And then explain how, yes, I have actually changed my name just because hearing it mangled all day every day is that annoying.

Basically it's a lot to go through to get one's damned coffee.

So I'll carry cash.

* Yes, many of you have done this. No, I don't harbor malevolence toward you for it; just don't do it again.

Daily Science
Scientists theorize Titan shaped by weather, not ice volcanoes.

Friday Memeage
Wearing: French blue button-down shirt and jeans; stripey green-and-blue socks.
Reading: Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By by Leslie Blume.
Writing: My exhaustion this week has kept me from doing so. Which cannot be allowed, dammit.
Knitting: Green scarf for Elayna.
Planning: Need to do writing this afternoon! Birthday dinner with Adam tonight, and we're seeing Super tomorrow. And Sunday is the Walk!

8th-Apr-2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
I totally did not know that was the reason you changed your name! (Or, at least, one of the reasons.)

Now I'm haring across the internet looking for pronunciations of it.

Instead of, y'know, doing work.
8th-Apr-2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
The most similar vowel is the first "a" in "California", but apparently in PIE-derived languages, you can't do that vowel in front of an "r". People default to the "a" in "care" or in "park".
8th-Apr-2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks, love!

Possible workaround for the baristas -- buy a Starbucks card (since those don't have names written on them).
8th-Apr-2011 04:41 pm (UTC)
Until you go there so often that you qualify for the gold card, which is personalized. :) And very shiny. They never call me by my name, though.
8th-Apr-2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
I can pronounce Little Sister just fine. That's why I asked a long time ago if I might call you that.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Apr-2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
I figured maybe 10 people would know French blue from any other blue. But I do, and that is what I am wearing! So!

I'm not surprised that you do. :)
8th-Apr-2011 02:47 pm (UTC)
Planning: Book launch party - stuff to buy. Book just got released: Wolfy novel is also available on Amazon: http://ning.it/ih6nD7.

Wearing: Comfortable PJs - I need sleep!
8th-Apr-2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
Which does lead me to ponderings of "when do you correct people?"

I wrestle with this all the time with my last name (in which the "laugh" syllable is a "lock" sound, not "laff" or "lawff"). I mostly didn't correct anyone years ago, hoping they'd just hear the difference when I pronounced it myself, but that led to one of my closest friends mispronouncing my last name for close to a decade. I have less trouble with people mispronouncing it in Boston (one of my most stunned-realization moments in my second temp job in town was when the IT guy said, "Oh, spelled just like a regular McLaughlin?"; he was a Callahan, and was probably related to a half dozen McLaughlins :) ). Now I try the game of repeating my name right after someone says it: "Yes, McLaughlin." Some people get it; most don't.

And I won't even go into the joys of people's spelling errors...
8th-Apr-2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday to Adam!

The book you are reading sounds intriguing. Please let us know what you think about it once you're finished, if you have the time.

As to your name conundrum, I've read of your struggles with this in the past, and I've been curious since that time to know how it's actually pronounced. Have you ever recorded yourself saying your name properly? If you did, and posted it here, it would enlighten many and we'd hopefully never mispronounce your name (though most of probably would just call you 'song anyway). Just a thought!
8th-Apr-2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've gone through that in person time and again. It never works. No more! Just call me Shira or 'song. :)
8th-Apr-2011 03:47 pm (UTC)
Or you could ask them to call you Shadesong or 'song. If you're a regular, especially at a regular time, they'll remember you. Especially if you're the crazy hot chick with the interesting name.

The folks at Caribou call my dad "Mr. Exact Change" because he always has precisely what his morning coffee costs (he has a little stack of coins on his dresser - a couple days worth counted out ahead of time - so he can just grab it and go).
8th-Apr-2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
The problem here is that some US dialects consider all of these vowels to be the same, and some don't: Barry, berry, carry, cherry, dairy, derry, fairy, ferry, Gary, hairy, Harry, Jerry, Kerry, Larry, Mary, marry, merry, nary, tarry, Terry, vary, very, wary

I'm one of those who simply can't hear or speak any difference between them.

(and isn't your current name subject to multiple pronunciations too? Could be Shear-uh or Shee-rah.)

Edited at 2011-04-08 03:50 pm (UTC)
8th-Apr-2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
This sounds like how my dad always argues that pen and pin and pronounced differently and my mom and I go no they're not!
8th-Apr-2011 04:15 pm (UTC) - When do I correct people?
My first name causes difficulty frequently, for reasons that don't truly make sense to me. It's pronounced the way it's spelled, so if you see me after getting email from me (work people), say it like you spell it. Don't get me started on my last name. *sigh*

Wearing: Blue jeans, brown Merrells, pink long-sleeved shirt under deep purple V-neck sweatervest, necklace in purple stones made by a friend of my brother's and given to me as a gift.
Reading: I keep carrying an Alexander McCall Smith book with me to and from work but not reading it. Might be time to give up on that and try something else. I'm reading the Metro newspaper on the way to work and doing the crossword and sudoku puzzle.
Creative endeavors: Filling out the paperwork to be a permanent resident of Canada, and looking at my tax documents instead of going online and FILING THEM. *sigh* Those both count as taking up my creative energy.
Planning: Games tonight with the gaming group (Twisted Monopoly), day of rest, Sunday school followed by ConCom for VCON wherein I put in my bid to run the Con Suite.
8th-Apr-2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
Friday Memeage
Wearing: Green asymmetrical-neck top, jeans, purple cardigan, green argyle socks.
Reading: Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. I want to assign this book to all my classes.
Writing: Grant proposal, hoopla! Aim to get the IRB app out this afternoon.
Knitting: Heh. I want to restart the cap I ripped out.
Planning: Maybe company for dinner tonight. Tomorrow mostly a lazy day. Lots of grading on Sunday.

I think on Etsy your name isn't changed, which is probably less of a big deal. More relevantly, no one at Starbucks ever reads my name off my card! How strange. Is it just that store?
8th-Apr-2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
People frequently mispronounce my name too. Generally I don't correct people unless for some reason I have decided they need to know it; this decision has something to do with how close I am to the person and how often I see them, and how exactly they mangle it. On many occasions they actually call me a completely different name beginning with my initial, rather than just mangling the pronunciation of my actual name.
8th-Apr-2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
I've had a similar problem with my last name for most of my life. To the point where I've had people ask me if I'm sure it's my last name. To the point where I've had people argue with me about how it's pronounced. *spinkick* So now when people call me Mrs. wdomburg, I just say screw it and let them to avoid the battle and/or language lesson.
9th-Apr-2011 03:10 am (UTC)
In the US, the originally-Scottish name "Houston" has about half a dozen different pronunciations. And Scots is either a form of English or a closely-related language, depending which linguist you ask.

I've found that if I pronounce my formal first name properly over the phone, "Daniel" gets heard as "Danielle."
9th-Apr-2011 03:18 am (UTC)
notably, Houston TX is "HYOO-st*n" and Houston St. in NYC is "HOW-st*n". (where * is schwa)

What other pronunciations have you encountered?
9th-Apr-2011 08:21 am (UTC)
"Fingernails on a chalkboard"... I sympathize. My former name is not easily mispronounceable, but it still makes me wince. And don't even get me started on the recent time when I tried to go to the Social Security office to start the process for getting a replacement card - you know, so I could eradicate the last remaining traces of the offending moniker in the system - and they:

a) told me I didn't have enough documentation to prove my former name. Enough for my current name, but not enough for my former name, because nothing had my former name and current address on it. The fact that I had a passport and DL in my current legal name, mail in my former name, and a court copy of my name change form didn't faze them whatsoever.

b) repeatedly insisted on calling me by my former name. You know, the one that they kept telling me I couldn't prove.

Either (a) or (b) would have been bad enough. The combination of them, though... that afternoon was a reminder of how it is that "mad" means both angry and crazy, because this made me angry enough that I was definitely crazy for a while.
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