What’s in a name? Does it matter if you spell someone’s name wrong, or the ‘other way’ if you can’t hear it as you say it?
When (parts of) Stockport station was re-built some years ago, it displayed a plaque saying the local MP had opened the new station. After a while they had to get a new plaque, as the MP really is Ann Coffey, and not Anne Coffey.
Every year the Resident IT Consultant receives Christmas cards from colleagues and associates (I don’t know why, since he generally doesn’t do cards). They are invariably for Dave. We have no Dave in this house. People have decided to give him the comfy version of what clearly must seem a boringly straight and old-fashioned name. But he will never have introduced himself as Dave. And I’m thinking you wouldn’t necessarily be quite as wrong if you David-ed a Dave on a card.
When in doubt, I skip the names on cards. We usually do a card for someone called Alistair. Or is he Alastair? Alasdair? I don’t know. So I play it safe and don’t get it wrong.
I have an uncle. His name is Lasse. Lasse is – usually – the familiar form of Lars. Hence he gets mail addressed to Lars. Except his name actually is Lasse.
One of the neighbours is an Anne. We had a discussion about this once, and she ‘always’ gets her name spelled as Ann. She says she doesn’t feel like an Ann.
But how I envy her. I don’t feel like a Bookwitche. The e might be silent, but it is there! I can see it. I can feel it. (Although it is preferable to Laura. Laura is a lovely name. But why people choose to address me as such is beyond even me.)