I hate it. Seriously, it’s not my name, there’s no a in my name, I hate it when people don’t look at my name long enough to realize that it’s not Elaine. Or when, after they’ve known me for several weeks, they still can’t get it straight.
I was thinking about that because it doesn’t bother me at all when French people call me Hélène, and I think there are two reasons. 1) I like the name Hélène. I think it’s pretty. I like the vowels. (I also like the name Elena.) I have neutral to negative feelings about Elaine (and Ellen), but I can’t tell if that came before or after the misnamings… 2) I’ve been called Hélène on and off in French class since I was 6, which is also about the time I told people I was too old to be called Nina and changed to Eileen. Oh and maybe 3) It’s clear that French people have a hard time saying my name and figuring out how to pronounce it because it’s so different from French. But Texans are just lazy.
Maybe it’s just that one was voluntary and one wasn’t. But seriously. I’m tired of being called Elaine.
I have a professor named Elaine, though, and she said she gets Eileen a lot. Which is something I never thought about. Maybe it’s generational.
End of rant.