You’ve likely heard about the importance of remembering a person’s name after you’ve met them but what about how to pronounce their name? With my names, first and last, you can guess that I’ve been in more than one situation where people use the incorrect pronunciation of one or both.
This may come off as a bit of a rant, which it may be, but I’d prefer to say it’s a hope of bringing awareness to the importance of paying attention to people’s names, not just remembering them, but respecting the pronunciation too.
When it comes to my first name I give people a little slack but will correct them in an instant. “Mia”, which sounds like [Mee-yuh] is a word of Spanish origin. It means “my” or “mine.” Since it’s not from the English language, I can understand a mistake in phonetics and don’t mind giving correction if someone makes a mistake with it.
My last name, which is my married name is one that I tend to let slide, but I completely don’t understand why Amercian, English speaking people can’t say it correctly. In fact, I’m appalled by the complete mutilation of the pronunciation of “Anstine”.
“Anstine”, sounds like [An-styen] or [An-stahyn]. It’s the sound “an” combined with “Stine”. Do you see the word “Tine” in “Stine?’ It’s there, so I don’t know why people call me “Anstein”. You see, “Stein” doesn’t sound anything like “Stine”. Phoenitically, “Tein” and “Tine” are completely different.
The absolute worst is when someone calls me “Aniston”. Although I enjoy watching the Aniston who appears in the famous television series, ‘Friends’, I don’t find it a compliment when someone mutilates my name to sound as such.
How do you feel when someone ignores your name or its pronunciation?
I’ve been included several interviews and if the show host doesn’t ask how to say my name in the pre-recording time, I make sure to let them know as I don’t expect them to get it right. When I go through this courtesy prep and then the host immediately mutilates one or both of my names, you can guess what I think of them.
Remembering a person’s name shows them respect. It shows them that you care and even that you’re not self-centered. It shows interest. There’ve been thousands of articles and even books, written that bring up this subject. If you want to earn someone’s respect, call them by name when you see them.
I won’t say that I’ve never forgotten a name because we all certainly do. It’s not something I brag about or choose to accept. I’ve even beat myself up for mistaking one friend for another; Yes, I do have some really blond moments — Ugh! Despite my lack of perfection I do try hard to care about others, and knowing their names is one way of doing this.
Importance of Remembering Names
No matter what business you’re in, remember names is a must. If you haven’t done so yet, read Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ you need to! You’ll learn a lot about relations with others. You’ll also discover “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
- Focus on the person.
- Repeat their name aloud.
- Ask a question.
- Repeat his or her name silently.
- Make a vivid association between their name and something familiar to you.
- Conclude the interaction with his or her name.
Become Curious About Others
When you’re interacting with someone be an active listener. Are you one who always replies to what someone is saying with, “Well, I …” or “When I …”? Don’t be the “I” person. Listen. Ask questions. Relate. Even if it’s in your mind. Not everyone shares an experience with you because they want feedback. If you’re being an active listener you’ll be able to discern your role in the conversation. — These days, many people talk to hear themselves. <SIGH> That’s a different story, for a different day, and I’ll probably leave them to that. HA-HA!