What’s in a name? For most of us, pretty much everything. As Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, said, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
I was named after my grandfather James (my mom’s father, who passed away before I was born) – and the special spelling came from TV’s Bionic Woman, Jaime Sommers. Needless to say, I’ve had teachers, friends, coworkers and (if I’m being super honest) even family members spell my name incorrectly over the years.
In school, I had many a teacher looking for a “Hi-me” during roll call. While the mispronunciation may have been slightly annoying, at least I knew they were actually paying attention to my name on the list. That eventually progressed into coworkers who misspelled my name in emails for months while basically staring at my email signature.
As someone who has a uniquely spelled name, I’ve always taken great care when spelling other people’s names. Maybe I’m overly sensitive to this, but I feel like Dale was onto something…You’re not going to win any friends by misspelling their name. It’s their identity, it’s who they are. And while not everyone can be the Bionic Woman, we all deserve to have our identity honored.