What’s in a name?
October 21, 2009 - France
Those of us called “Hannah”, who are from the UK, spend a lot of time saying things like this:
My name’s not “Anna”, it’s “Hannah”, with an “H”
My name’s spelled “Hannah”, with two aitches, one at the end and one at the start
Yes I do know it’s a palindrome, thanks! Yes, please tell me your favourite palindromes. Yes, I have heard the one about the canal and the plan.
I’ve always found it particularly annoying when people manage to send me email to hannah@ … but then start the message “Dear Hanna”, or “Dear Anna”. As for spoken anna-isms, I noted a marked improvement in pronunciation when I moved out of south London, land of the mockney dropped H.
But one adapts, and after 35 years of trying to get people to say my name correctly, I’ve stopped. All it took was a few months in France, and I’m no longer one of those irritating sods who corrects peoples’ pronunciation all the time. The French don’t really do the letter ‘H’, and so in conversation I’ll now answer to Anna.
I’m not sure about giving up on the spelling though. The name plate on my new office door came as a bit of a shock.
That’s a new spelling on me.