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Writer's Block: Repeat After Me... - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Feb. 10th, 2008

05:08 pm - Writer's Block: Repeat After Me...

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How have people pronounced your name? How is it supposed to sound?


I've heard it pronounced "Myootchler", "Mootchler", "Mutcher", "Mulcher" (suddenly I'm a gardening tool?) and "Mulchler". It's pronounced just like it's spelled: "Mutchler". Say "butler", and then replace "but" with "much" as in "very much". That's all!

My family and I spent a period of 9 months back in 1981 in Switzerland. Ironically, although "Mutchler" is originally a German name, the German-speaking Swiss people had trouble pronouncing it, because of the Anglicized spelling (it was originally "Mutschler"). They'd try to say stuff like "Moot-kh-lehr".

The spelling gets mangled, too, mainly on mail addresses. I've seen stuff like MUTHCLER, MUTCHELER and METZHLER. One time the phone rang, and I answered it, and the person at the other end asked for what sounded like "Elmachella?" I eventually recognized this as a mispronunciation of a misspelling of a mispronunciation: Someone somewhere had inserted an extra syllable, "Mutch-a-ler", which got written down as MUTCHELER, which got paired up with my mom's first initial, L (L. MUTCHELER), which this lady tried to pronounce as "El Ma-chell-er".

I tell ya, some days it hardly seems worth having a name!

Comments:

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From:nefaria
Date:February 10th, 2008 08:36 pm (UTC)
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I actually mispronounce my own last name. My father's family pronounced it "Freed-rick" but I pronounce it "Fred-rick". My dad said he didn't care how you pronounced it as long as you spelled it right.
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From:zeek_hedgehog
Date:February 10th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC)
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My last name is Schmalzried. When people see it I just tell them not to try to pronounce it.
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From:doco
Date:February 10th, 2008 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Any relation to them? :D
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From:growly
Date:February 10th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
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Don't feel too badly about your name being mangled... people call me "Laura" instead of "Lauren" all the time for some reason, even though that is the simplest name EVER. D:
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 10th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
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There is only one possible reply to that:

Oh come ON, people!
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From:babsbunny
Date:February 10th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
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After having put up with a lifetime of hearing "Muh-JER-uh", "Ma-JEER-uh", "MAH-jeruh", and every possible variation in between, you have my sympathy.

IT'S PRONOUNCED WITH A HARD-G YOU NITWITS!!!! HOW is that SO hard to figure out?! My name has 3 vowels and less than twelve letters in it!!

*headdesk*

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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 11th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
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Well, to be fair... image, magenta, agent. Now, if it were spelled "Magaira"...

...then people would probably be saying "mah-gah-EER-ah". :}
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From:discopanda
Date:February 11th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
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With mine it used to be that people would mishear "Witters" as "Winters" on a regular basis, but these days they tend to hear it correctly but then misspell it as "Whitters" instead for some reason. :-|
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From:tracerj
Date:February 11th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
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My last name is "Tracer". You'd think that this would be nigh impossible to mangle. It's a normal English word, pronounced and spelled exactly as the English word it resembles. Instead, I get:

Tracker
Traser
Tracey (sometimes for first name... gimme a break!)
Traber (....)
Tresser
Labowitch

You think I'm kidding about that last? Okay, I'm being slightly disingenuous, but it's an in-joke only I get anyhow. Bah! My point is, when I spell it out then say, "Tracer, like the bullet," I kind of expect it to somehow survive.

Everyone leaves the 'i' out of "Jessie", also. They suck. I paid good money for that 'i'.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC)

paid good money for that 'i'

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Literally?
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From:tracerj
Date:February 11th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)

Re: paid good money for that 'i'

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To some degree. When I got my name-change, I ended up spending a sizable bit of money on it, mostly because Pennsylvania is a miserable money-grubbing disaster of a state. (They'll also correct one by saying, "It's a Commonwealth." Curiously, they don't tolerate the fone semantic corrections I generally offer after that gauntlet is thrown. Live by the word....) I did not, however, pay simply to add an 'i'. Six other letters were changed among my first and middle names. Still, that makes them expensive letters at about seventy bucks or so a pop, depending on how one counts the expenses involved. Seriously.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:February 11th, 2008 12:20 pm (UTC)
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My real name is Stephen Brouse (rhymes with "house") Gilberg. Some say "STEFF-en" instead of "STEE-ven," which is understandable if only because no other name or word in English uses "ph" for a "v" sound. "Gilberg" keeps getting mistaken for "Gilbert," "Goldberg," and other common surnames. I normally don't use my middle name, but it's my mom's surname, so she gets "Browse," "Bruise," or "Bruce." (When someone called for the last one, I thought she had the wrong number.)
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From:wbwolf
Date:February 11th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
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I can sort of understand the ph/v confusion with Stephen. My first thought is to pronounce it as a "f". What makes it more confusing is some people do prefer the "f" over the "v" pronunciation (French style, I think).
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
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I was taught that "Stephen" and "Steven" are both pronounced "Steven". For example, Stephen King. I don't know why so many other people don't seem to know this.
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From:kagur
Date:February 11th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
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Try having a last name like Augur. Mr. Augeer, Mr. Augar...Mr. Auger like a plumbing auger? Or worse, Ogre. When Shrek came out, I cringed..and sure enough, someone called asking for Mr. Ogre? It's Augur..a soothsayer. Not difficult unless you make it so.
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From:wbwolf
Date:February 11th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
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Imagine having a last name like "Chaney". I get asked by at least one wiseass middleschooler every freaking time, "Like the vice-president?" It's not even spelled the same way, people! ]:oP***

Of course, I wonder if that's a step up from the regular misspellings of my first and last name (both are the less common versions)...
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From:kagur
Date:February 11th, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
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Good thing they're too young to remember Lon Chaney, the man of a thousand faces.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC)
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I would think that would help! He could then just say, "No, like Lon."
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From:thecanuckguy
Date:February 11th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
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I very rarely get mispronounciations or misspellings (it's David Kendall, btw, very hard to screw up, because it's so WASPy). The only time I do is at work when the contracted-out departments in India call and often think I sawy "Dario" for some reason ...

My daughter's name is "Chantal", though, and, while it's not uncommon (especially here in Canada with it's high French population), her name gets mispelled a lot: Chantel, Chantelle, Shantal, etc. She's too young to correct them but since she started school in September she has learned how to spell and write her name (and proudly spells it correctly, written and spoken, every time, and isn't afraid to tell people her name and how it's spelled unprovoked)

I can see why you go by "Kinky Turtle", it's a lot easier, no mispellings or mispronounciations there (just misconstruction of the meaning and origin of the name).
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 11th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
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Chantal, eh? When she grows up I wonder if she's going to move to Moncton and have a tongue as sharp as razors and a fancy car. :}
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From:woyro
Date:February 12th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
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my last name is Minturn. most people make the correct assumption that it rhymes with INTERN. way way back in Merrie Olde England it used to be spelt Myntyrne.
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