Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Notes on my name

  • It's pronounced "Dah-nee." (I've thought about it, and that's not really the same thing as "Donny.")

  • My full name is Daniela. (Dahn-yel-uh.) My dad tells me my name is German (he was a missionary in Germany and baptized a girl with my name), but whenever I mention that to someone who has been to Germany, the look they give me isn't exactly one I would call "approving." It's more like "skeptical but not interested enough to try and dissuade me."

  • There was this one time, when I was at the testing center at BYU, that the student employee behind the desk where they distribute tests pulled my test off the printer, read my name, and called out "Dahn-yel-uh." I was stunned (because the only logical way to pronounce it at first sight is "Dan-yel-uh", right?) and thought for a minute that he might be my one true love. I asked him why he'd said that and he said "Oh, did I say that? I don't know." Then I started to wonder if he'd actually said it. Then I dropped the idea of pursuing the honor of becoming of his soulmate. 

  • I always always always put dinner reservations in Seth's name. Restaurant people probably think my husband is the boss of me, but I'm really just trying to avoid the following conversation:

"What's your name?"
"D-O-N-N-I?" (Or whatever combination of letters strikes them as appropriate in that moment.)
"Well, how do you really spell it?
"Well, it's D-A-N-I, but..."
"Okay, D-A-N-I. Got it."
Arrive at the restaurant.
"We have a reservation for Dani?"
"Hmmmm, do you mean Danny?"

This problem could easily be solved if I just pronounced my name Danny in situations like this, but I can't bring myself to do that. It's the same deal when I'm leaving messages with receptionists or whatever. If I tell them how I really spell my name, the person is going to call me back and call me Danny. I could lie about how it's spelled, but all the phonetic spellings look silly to me.

  • All my kids have/will have names that you can both spell and pronounce. YOU'RE WELCOME.
(p.s. Mom and Dad, DAS OKAY.)
(p.s. One time my cousin Tara had a big crush on this boy and her best friend tapped her on the shoulder during a church meeting and told her that this boy had asked her [the friend] to a dance and apologized and Tara fake smiled and was like, "DAS OKAY" and turned around. This makes me giggle every time I think about it.)
(p.s. Tara is very happily married now to SOMEONE ELSE.)


  1. Tara (Tahr uh) did Way okay by marrying Ryan (Stache) eh?

  2. So my daughter's name is Louise (loo-EE-zz). It's my mom's middle name, so even though it's kind of older it's always been really normal to me. Plus, I started taking French in 9th grade, so the correct pronunciation is even more natural for me. But, the poor girl is going to be called Louis (loo-iss) and Lois (loe-iss) her whole life. It always take me a minute when they call "Lewis" at the doctor's office for me to realize that they're talking about my child!

    On the other hand, sometimes people misspell my name, so, really, nothing is safe anymore in this crazy world. :)

  3. Sorry Dani, I don't feel sorry for you. No one has as much trouble as I have had with my name. I have just learned to accept any pronunciation they give me. How many times have you received something in the mail like Fatu Woodland? Sorry, Danny Woodland just doesn't sound like such a big deal. :)

  4. I feel your pain. We have actually considered legally changing the spelling of our last name to "Satorian" to more accurately reflect its pronunciation. However, that's the anglicized pronunciation of it anyway. I'd bet that if you were pretty much anywhere else in the world, people would pronounce your name better. So move to France, maybe? P.S. People probably think I'm the boss of my husband because he always puts our reservations in my name ("Chrissie" is easier than "Sevak").