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nanowrimo 2010


Diary of a Blind Madman

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The name game
marvin pondering
Dear LiveJournal Friends,

I wish I could hear myself pronounce my name as others hear it. There must be something going on that I don't know about.

My name has been a problem all my life. In my youth I had this hyphen problem. And there was the whole "K" thing. I'd introduce myself — "Hello. I'm Karl-Robert with a hyphen and a 'K' —". That became so automatic that people began responding with things like, "Pleased to meet you Mr. Andakay." What? They thought my middle name was Withahyphen?

Today I told someone on the phone my name was Louderback. Now I think I pronounce that "louder" as in "turn up the TV louder" and "back" as in "come back here!" Obviously, this is not the case. The person on the phone asked me "Is that with a 'd'?" This left me utterly confused. I am accustomed to "Is that with an 'a'?" for those who want to spell it like Lauderdale (in Florida the confusion of Louderback with Ft. Lauderdale was forgivable. In Missouri?) and even with those who want to put an "h" on the end instead of a "k" but what were they going to use instead of a "d"? Where?

My name used to be hard. The family patronym back in the old country was von Lauterbach und Halmisch. There isn't a fill-in form in the nation with enough boxes to hold that one. Louderback isn't that bad, is it?

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Of course, I have the advantage of only ever having seen your name written down. As a result, I can't see any problem with it. As for my name, there are problems.
Here are some problems I have with my email address. For fear of spammers, nearly all vowels are replaced by hyphens.
I bought an email address from the nice people at netidentity. As my name is Ian H-ll-d-y, I thought ian@h-ll-d-y.com would be an ideal choice. Not so! People have been unable to get mail to me at ian@h-l-d-y.com (only one L) and this is somehow my fault.
Further, as I am in New Zealand, that can't POSSIBLY be my address. No, I must have made a mistake: it must be ian@h-ll-d-y.co.nz
Another person complained that mail was being returned from ian@h-ll-d-y.com@xtra.co.nz (you need to know that Xtra is the largest ISP in New Zealand, comparable in many ways with AOL)
And all these things are my fault! I've fixed the only one I can, by buying h-ll-d-y.co.nz, but all the others are impossible to fix.
Thanks for listening.

Today's "worthless word for the day" seems oddly appropriate. My name is certainly an "embuggerance" in my life.

he worthless word for the day is: embuggerance

[Brit. military slang]
a natural or artificial hazard that complicates
any proposed course of action


"Well, now... it looks like what we have here is
an embuggerance which, my lads..., is defined as
an obstruction in the way of progress."
- Terry Pratchett, Monstrous Regiment

Ian, if you don't know of this site, you may enjoy it: the worthless word of the day


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