Thursday, September 26, 2019

My Name

Here's a typical phone conversation for me:

Other person: "And your last name, please?"

Me: "Townsend" pronounced as clearly as I can with emphasis on the final "D."

OP: "Tompson?"

Me: "No, Townsend. The word 'town' and the word 'send' together."

OP: "Could you spell that for me, please?"

Me: "T-o-w-n-s-e-n-d."

OP: "So that's P-o-w-?"

No: "No, T, as in Tom."

OP: "Oh, T-o-w-n-s-c-n-d?"

And so it goes.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data (Excel file at the link),  "Townsend" is the 483rd most popular surname in the U.S. There are 69,360 people with that name in the U.S. And I'm one of them.

(The most popular surname in the U.S.? Smith.)

I'm sure there are people who have a hard time with their names, too. Probably a harder time. But, to me, "Townsend" isn't that hard. Why don't people understand it?

Once I stayed at a bed and breakfast in Port Townsend, Washington. When I made the reservation, the woman asked "what's your last name?" and I said, "Townsend" and she said "cool." That was one of the few times I didn't have problems with someone understanding my name.

And don't get me started about trying to tell people my domain name at the end of my email: "sevantownsend" I spell it phonetically: "S as in Sam, E as in echo, V as in Victor..."

Do you have problems with people understanding your name? Let me know in the comments below.

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