First, a little segment from our favorite psychic detectives…
While I would fail in a spelling bee (I am a visual speller, I have to write a word to spell it properly, so if they ever invent a writing bee I’m set), I absolutely prescribe to proper spelling. Never will you catch me using, cuz, gonna, or b4, in text messages or any other forum. I tried I’ma go last night and about gave myself a heart attack (although that is a pragmatic issue, not one of spelling). I just can’t work against spelling prescriptions until they have been fully adopted into the lexicon.
But that has nothing to do with this post.
K, lie. It is tangentially related (don’t you love that word?). What I actually want to talk about is my name. I just got sidetracked by the type of yellow fruit scene.
To a certain extent, names reflect personality. We discussed this in my semantics course with Dr. Oaks (great linguistic professor): think about the names Betty and Reginald. You come up with a type of person in your head, don’t you? Names have a sense even before they are attached to a person. Because of this idea (and other ideas), naming is such a powerful privilege. You help shape someone’s identity for their entire life.
Okay. I like my name. It’s common enough that people know it and get it right, but not so common that everyone else has it. Although I don’t like it when other people have it (see this post), which is probably partly due to the fact that your name says something about you, and perhaps somehow I don’t want to be defined by another Allison. (Semi-related anecdote: I was once introduced to a guy as Allie and he told me later that it took him a long time to be comfortable with that because I didn’t fit the Allie stereotype he held in his head based on a girl he’d known in high school.)
But while everyone would know that an Allison is different than a Miranda who is different than a Hailey who is very different than a Brittany (I once knew a Brittany who told us in no uncertain terms that the proper pronunciation of her name was Britt-a-ny, not Britt-ny), I don’t think that everyone thinks about the differences in spelling as well. But there are. Observe:
Kaitlyn, Katelyn, Katelin, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Catelyn. I’m sure there are more. But just because they are pronounced the same does not mean they are the same name. They feel very different, and they are.
Likewise, Allison and Alison and Alyson are all very different. My preference is for the first, naturally, because it is mine. People tend to get that right though; it seems Allison is the standard. What they rarely do get right is Allie. And that is the point of this post:
When calling me Allie, it is spelled as I have just typed it (which is what I always thought was the standard spelling of the name). All you do is take the –son off my original name and add an –e. No dropping Ls or adding Ys. Why take out a letter that is already there? You might counter with, why add a letter that doesn’t need to be there? This is why:
Which looks more complete?
I don’t think I ever encountered this problem before I moved to Utah, but since I did that nearly five years ago I’ve had people misspell my name more times than I can count. Stupid Mormon culture with its weird spellings of normal names. But my name is important to me, as I’m sure yours is to you, and I want it handled the way I want it handled.
Also, don’t try to pick up a new nickname if I’ve known you over a year. It’s too late; you’re stuck with whatever you currently use.