On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Megan Knight m.a.knight at ru.ac.za
Wed Mar 5 01:46:13 EST 2003


Well, I wasn't christened Megan, it came about when I was around 25. I tried
several times in university to get people to call me Meg, but it never
worked, and it was only after I came back to SA that I managed to get people
to call me Megan. Part of the reason is that I hate the way many South
Africans pronounce my given name (Maaaargrit is a good approximation).

I still get people mispronouncing my name, though, it's pronounced with a
short e, like meggan, not meegan.

As for creating spelling systems that make it easier for us anglophones to
pronounce names, well there isn't a lot you can do with a language full of
clicks. How else would you spell Xolila Mangcu that makes it easier to say?
The x is a click, and the ngc is a different kind of click, which are common
transliterations.

BTW I recently heard a tv announcer, in her zeal to pronounce everybody's
name perfectly, and show off her skills, pronounce John Xavier with a click
at the beginning, which must have startled the poor man with that name
sitting next to her.

megan "margaret" Knight

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