For what its worth

On September 17, 2018 Chrissy Teigen, famous model and wife of a little more famous musician, John Legend, informed the world that we have been pronouncing her name wrong all this time. According to Wikipedia©, Mrs. Teigen was born in 1985. She stated that she has been correcting others on the pronunciation of her maiden name for so long, she got tired and gave up. For 33 years, Chrissy Tiegen has endured everyone else’s lazy enunciation habits. So, for what it’s worth, please don’t say T-E-E-G-U-N. It’s T-I-E-G-U-N. The exasperation reminds me of the scene in Mulan in which Eddie Murphy’s character, “Mushu” is outraged at being referred to as a lizard. “Dra-ghan, Dra-ghan he says, “I don’t do that tongue thing.”

On a similar note, pun very much intended, Arianna Grande has the same problem. Miss Grande, a famous actress and singer has also put the world on notice that her last name should be pronounced G-R-A-N-D-E-E, not G-R-A-H-N-D-A-Y. In fairness, Miss Grande has only been around since 1993, so she’s only had to look past the public’s ignorance for the last 25 years. As TeenVogue© puts it, “It’s not like the Starbucks drink size, after all.”

From the famous to the un-famous, I have answered to several monikers over my lifetime; and I am much older than the two aforementioned ladies. When I came into the world I was called “Tommy” to differentiate me from my father, who was “Thomas.” Later, when I lived in a foreign country, the native-tongue speakers didn’t recognize the double-m’s, so they branded me “Toby.” I continued on as Tommy thereafter until I was in my late 20s. A mentor of mine said that Tommy was a name for a little boy; in order to be looked at as an adult, I should start using my given name which was Thomas. As time went on, and I met my future wife, I took on other nicknames such as “honey” and “babe.” Each of these names through the years have proven to serve the purposes for which they were assigned. I have come to place unique value to each one as my circumstances have changed. Therefore, having my name pronounced a different way or changed altogether isn’t so bad. But what do I know, the first six months of my marriage I thought my first name was, “Are you seriously kidding me right now?”

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