Monday, December 7, 2009

I extend my middle finger to the middle name...

An entreaty to expectant or new parents:

I am one of those hapless people who has gone by his middle name since my parents dictated it so, far before I was ever able to raise my tiny voice or fists in objection. You'd think this would be just an interesting quirk, something to raise the eyebrows slightly and provide about 6.6 seconds of idle conversation. But no. To wit:
  • Waiting in a doctor's or dentist's waiting room just sucks. When the clueless PA or nurse or DA or what-have-you calls your name, it's inevitably by your given first name, and not by the one you go by. (Not a rip on said PAs, nurses, or DAs...they're often just saying what's in front of them on the chart, and they don't know otherwise.) And if you don't expect it, you could end up sitting in the waiting room while the PA wonders why no one's responding.
  • Filling out official paperwork, you have to - HAVE TO - write your first name. People who simply go by their first names don't even have to worry about this. But it makes those like me pause and have to think for a second.
  • The above especially applies if you're trying to vote or sign a petition. Sign it with the name you go by and not by your first name, and your vote is as good as useless.

Minor issues, no? Perhaps for most people who go by their middle name. It's possible that most don't mind their first name. But I ABHOR mine. It's always sounded like a name given to a snooty British multimillionaire descended from royalty, esquire. So whenever I hear it, I cringe. Or if I'm forced to say it to some official person who can't find me in a database? Yecch.

So I say to you parents who are contemplating names for your children: Do NOT call your child using their middle name. If you like it so much, then switch it with what you originally planned as the first name. Oh yeah, the "but it doesn't sound good that way!" whining. Tough. If it really sounds that bad, then choose another name. Seriously.

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