Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt



Friday, April 3, 2009

Aliteracy touches me in deep, personal ways...

Another blog post on the subject of names, but this time, I'm talking about my own name. Call this a rant, if you will, but I've always thought my first name was easy to spell and beyond simple to read.

Reem.

R-E-E-M.

Sounds and is spelled like seem, with an “R” in place of the “S.”

So, why do people insist on calling me Rem? Even after I correct them, or simply say: "Yes, this is REEM," they still call me Rem.

I mean, honestly, I wanna ask each of these individuals who make this mistake a very simple question: have you ever felt the urge to pronounce “seem,” “sem”?

You’d think with a dash in my last name, I’d have more trouble with that, but I don’t. The four letters in my first name seem (or sem, depending on how your brain processes double E’s!) to cause the most trouble when read.

And while I’m talking about uncommon name issues, let me tell you another thing that absolutely busts my hide… if I say my name is Reem, whether it’s short for something or not (which it’s not), that’s all I want to divulge, especially to the nosy stranger who finds it necessary and appropriate to ask me if it’s my “real” name or if it’s “short for something.” I’d rather you cut right to the chase and ask me what it means, its origin, etc. At least then I know you don’t just assume I’m a stack of paper, or a verb that describes an unpleasant action, or that I’m a furnace. The furnace one is new, but it has come up quite a few times lately.

So, pardon my ranting, but I am amazed at just how many aliterate people are running around—though they have the ability to read and write, they choose not to read and keep their vocabulary, spelling and grammar at an elementary level, at best. That to me is more tragic than complete illiteracy.

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