Daily Prompt 2/8/2016 | Janise

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/8/2016 | Say Your Name

“Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?”

My name is Janise. Say it out loud. It is pronounced the same as Janice, or Janis, but spelled slightly differently. When you look at my name, what pronunciation did you use? Did you say it correctly, or did you say Jan-EE-se? If that’s what popped into your head, then we can’t be friends anymore.

Well, fine, we can be. I guess. You’re lucky you’re cute.

Growing up, everyone mispronounced my name, and I never understood why. My name is not exotic. It’s somewhat uncommon, but, seriously? Maybe because it’s my name, but when I look at it, I think of Janice. I mean, have you ever met someone named Jan-EE-se? I’m sure they exist, but I certain’y haven’t met one. From kindergarten, all the way until my senior year in high school, every teacher that I ever had pronounced it wrong. Usually more than once. In fact, my homeroom teacher, which I had for all four years of high school, never once pronounced my name properly. He was also our senior class adviser, who called our names at graduation for our diplomas, and I had to remind him how to say my name. Twice.

Towards the end of my senior year, I started going by Jan, and I still do to this day. I don’t know if it was just where I grew up, but people out here (I grew up in southern Maine, and now live in central Illinois) seem to know how to correctly pronounce my name, and I’ve only had a handful of instances in the last 7 or 8 years where people slipped up and called me Jan-EE-se. But I still go by Jan. Dropping those few extra letters has changed my life, honestly. I gained a whole new persona.

With all of that having been said, I do like my name. I’m not named after anyone special or significant, but it is my name. It’s not rare, or exotic, but it also isn’t a common name. I used to detest my name, and always asked my mom why she had to name me something so weird. But, really, my name isn’t weird at all. Now that I am old enough to appreciate it, I like that it is spelled a bit differently, because it gets people talking, and it a good ice breaker whenever I have to introduce myself, like at a job interview, or some other situation where the person would be looking at my name on paper. I finally grew into the uniqueness of my name, and I wouldn’t change it at all. Not one, single letter.

Do you have a name that is often mispronounced?

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan(ise)