On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at charter.net
Tue Mar 11 09:11:52 EST 2003

>Ian wrote:
>>  You'd be amazed at the number of people in the U.S. that I've run
>>  into who see my first name and say "Eye-un" instead of "EE-un"
>>  I got in the habit, in Canada, when giving someone my name to write
>>  down of saying "Ian Riddell, R I D D E L L" because no one could
>>  spell my last name. So I tried that here too. I'd get to the end of
>>  it and people would say "How do you spell your first name? Does it
>>  start with "E"?"
>>  This amazes me every time. I guess there are no fans of the James
>>  Bond books here! I wonder if the popularity of the Lord of the Rings
>>  Movies (with Ian McKellan and Ian Holm) and X-Men (Ian McKellan
>>  again) will change this . . .
>>  blessings
>>  Ian
>I am amazed also. I thought Ian was a fairly popular name in
>English-speaking countries; it certainly is here.

It's popular in English-speaking countries other than the U.S. apparantly.

And while, having grown up in Canada, I'm emotionally attuned to the 
"Americans are dumb" reasoning, my dual citizenship, my love and deep 
respect for many of my fellow Americans, and my understanding that 
Aussies, Kiwis, Canucks, and Brits do lots of stupid things too 
doesn't allow my to use that argument with grace (although it has 
come out of my mouth).

(who has even more stories about how his last name is mangled!)
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two 
opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the 
ability to function
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ian W. Riddell
iwriddell at charter.net
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