This name has taken its toll on me…

So, whats in a name, you say? Well, a lot... I respectfully disagree this notion about the fact that a name doesn't really stand for anything or that, a name's just a name, and all the other cliches that people with bad names have come up with.

For the first time today, I got both my first and my last names, completely butchered. We had our monthly team call today, and a moderator was responsible in introducing us when we dialed in to the meeting. She read my name out as "Amanda Iyer". I laughed it off. I'm sure every guy on the team suddenly started paying attention because he probably thought a woman had been added to the team *grin* (well, atleast I sure woke up, because I wasn't sure who Amanda was, and then I thought to myself, "huh, a woman with the same last name as mine" just signed in)

If that wasn't bad enough, a little while later, I called up Amazon to check on this order I'd placed 2 weeks ago. This customer service rep (@ Amazon), for some reason thought that proper nouns do not begin with capital letters. And so, he ended up calling me "Anand Lyer" - he confused the capital 'I' in my last name, to be a small 'L' (an 'l' i.e.). *sigh*

I've become a female liar...

When I was at Purdue, I worked part-time for the Engineering Computer Network. My then manager, Marian, had a tough time pronouncing my name. So she nick-named me "Andy". And that stuck for a bit... Only till it started to sound absurd. Starbucks and Jamba Juice both have this format where you tell the person behind the counter what your name is once you've ordered. And when I tell them my name is "Andy", they give me this look like, "yeah right Aapu".

And then once "Allen Iverson" broke in to the scene, and since our basketball skills are mostly alike (mine and Iverson's that is), it made perfect sense for me to name myself after him. So "AI" has stuck - atleast for now. But, how ridiculous is it to introduce yourself as "AI", if you're in a meeting with customers, managers and/or executives?

When I was at Cisco, I had the privilege of working with Kirk Lougheed. Kirk called me "A-Nand", like in "a nand gate". That was funny...

So, here I am now... Analyzing my name, its spelling, its origin... Why Dad? Why Mom? Frankly, I mostly know why. See, we have this tradition in my family, where kids are named after their grandparents. My grandad was Anand (and now, so are 3 of my guy cousins).

"Anand" is originally a Sanskrit word, and means "Happiness". Anand is not pronounced Anand. Its pronounced "Aah-nend". Some people even think it should be spelt "Onen". But you get the idea...

I'm gonna make sure my kids don't go through this. I want to have unique names for them, but I still want it to be easily pronouncible. So, as of today, I'm reserving "Oye", "Mia", "Tia", "Ria" and all the other 3 letter names in the world (somewhere my girlfriend's head is exploding). Now that I think about it, my sister was quite prudent in naming my niece "Dana". I'm guessing my brother-in-law had something to do with that.

Having been a software engineer, I feel like I've found a bug, which I need to fix right away. I feel like I need to 'fix' my name. I guess this is one of those "hidden" bugs in the code - the kind that will get shipped with the code, and will always stay embedded in the code. The kind we hope our customers never find out about... (I just re-read this paragraph, and yep, jeez, thats a horrible horrible geeky analogy - I'm probably going to have Rory Blyth have a crack at this post, and see if he wants to rewrite it for me).

In totally unrelated news, Maroon 5's kicking off their 2005 tour and is planning to have a show in San Jose, CA. Well, its not totally unrelated news - didn't you think my title for this article sounded familiar? Yeah, "Random Jones", thats my new name... Also, probably a good time for a drink...

AI (and thats the letter "a", and the letter "i" - I am not now suddenly calling myself AL)
PS: Glen Gordon pinged me on messenger and asked if I had a middle name... Glen - you do not want to know... You do NOT want to know... 🙂
PPS: If you haven't noticed yet, I'm going to have Rory Blyth's name in, well, most if not all of my posts to this site. Even if there isn't content in the post, you're occasionally going to see something like :
"PS: Rory Blyth Rory Blyth Rory Blyth Rory Blyth"
at the bottom of the post 🙂

Comments (5)
  1. Jeff Parker says:

    Life of Pi is a good book i recomend, Pi is short for Pissant, imagine going through life with that name

  2. I do not have near the problem you do. I get slight variations off of Marquette. It’s no big deal for me.

    Back in highschool, my mother went in to parent teacher meeting for my younger sister who had some of the same teachers as me. On teacher (that I had several classes with) asked my mother why does Kevin go by "Markette" and my sister by "Marquette".

    In all the classes I had with her, I never corrected her. I knew who she was talking to.

    Good luck

  3. Josh Koppang says:

    As you can see, my last name (Norweigan) is a little confusing. It is pronounced Co pang. About half of the people say it right when it is written down, and 0 people get it right when I say it to them and they are writing it down. So don’t worry, we are in the same boat.

  4. Fred Pullen says:

    Yes, but is it pronounced "day-nah" or "dah-nah?" 🙂

    My wife’s pregnant, so we’ve been discussing names already. ("Discussing" being a polite word for "vetoing each other’s suggestions.") I’m the third Fred, but I sincerely doubt there will be a fourth; Freds haven’t gotten much respect since Frederick the Great, and that was a while ago!

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