Thank goodness for public radio, huh? We’ll just kick off this post inspired by KUOW the same way they kick it off: with a question. “Keya Roy is used to people mispronouncing her name. She usually brushes it off, but should she?”
Turns out mispronouncing names is a racist practice with a long and racist history. Plus it’s racist.
— KUOW Public Radio (@KUOW) March 22, 2019
You know when you’re standing in line at a coffee shop, trying to figure out what to order? Your mind races. How much caffeine can I handle today? Should I get that overpriced bagel?
Many people with “unconventional” names experience a different kind of anxiety in this moment: figuring out what “safe” and “easy” name they should use that day.
Having a name butchered happens beyond coffee shops. This same anxiety peeks its head in the workplace, the classroom and many other aspects of life.
Spoiler: This practice of mispronouncing names isn’t just embarrassing. It has a long and racist history.
What are we talking about here, exactly? People with conventional names from other cultures, or parents who decided to give their children deliberately unpronounceable names? We’d have to listen, and we’re just not up to it.
So if someone mispronounces my name they are racist ??
That means 99% of everyone I meet everyday are oppressing me with their racism.
Gosh this is idiocy! https://t.co/MZ8SvNzUI0
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) March 26, 2019
Everyone who speaks English mispronounces my name. They say like it's faTIma when it's actually pronounced FAtima, stressing the first part of my name. Lol not in my life I have considered that racist or offensive. What's got into people? ???
— Fátima Carrero (@FatimaCarrero_M) March 26, 2019
This is a sign that things are getting better. These people have obviously exhausted their list of legitimate gripes. Yay for progress!
— CrunchyCon (@HardHatHippie) March 26, 2019
There was a time that racism in America meant that black people couldn’t get a good job or vote. Racism meant black people were murdered or their churches were bombed.
Now it’s mispronouncing a name!
Obviously we haven’t made any progress. 🙂
— David Messer (@EtzEchad) March 26, 2019
Victimhood is profitable these days. Very much so.
— Charizardimus (@Charizardimus) March 26, 2019
If I had a nickel for every time someone mispronounced my name, I’d have a private jet on 24-hour standby. ? My mom is Italian American, and she wanted me to have an Italian name. I don’t think she ever anticipated the millions of variations of my name people have come up with.
— Marisa ✝️?????? (@Marisa1081) March 26, 2019
People mispronounce my name everyday. I never thought of them as racist. That would be insane.
— Mother of menches (@Pamelajn922) March 26, 2019
My first name has mispronounced and misspelled my entire life. Grow up and get over it. #FirstWorldProblems
— Rogue Penguin (@Rogue_40) March 25, 2019
My name is very traditional, yet when ordering anywhere, I use “Emily” because it is easier on everyone. Stop making everything racist and victimization. Many people have a hard enough time speaking/spelling in their own language. Everything is not all about you.
— Elizabeth (@fullhousemomma) March 25, 2019
Go jump in a lake. Virtually no-one has pronounced my name correctly, and it isn't some arrogantly concocted confection.
I simply accept that it's novel and can't expect every stranger I meet to be a mind reader. I don't take that "don't they know who I am" tone of yours'
— ¡No Pasarán! (@nopasa) March 25, 2019
Im so sorry youve had to endure so much racial hatred towards you. Its disgusting and no one should have to put up with that.
You deserve the basic decency of having your name pronounced perfectly by everyone immediately upon hearing it, no matter how different it is.
— Cornelio Vanderbilt (@ohcherioBaby) March 26, 2019
Oh please. What is ‘racist’ about the mispronunciation of a name? I guess if someone doesn’t pronounce my name with the Spanish pronunciation my mother intended, that’s racist? pic.twitter.com/yolbD1DCVe
— Queen ?? Pouncy (@LaReinaCreole) March 26, 2019
Oh God. I have an odd name and have lived with people mispronouncing it my entire life. I am white. WHO DO I BLAME?
— Pounce 'N Bounce (@corrcomm) March 26, 2019
What tf is wrong with you people? How in the world is it “racist” to mispronounce a name, particularly one that you may not be familiar with?
You guys really need to seek out some therapy because your own mental illness issues are tearing this country apart. pic.twitter.com/F3dx0IPbCN
— Paul M Winters (@RealPaulWinters) March 24, 2019
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) March 25, 2019
Rita, this is a serious problem in seattle…my name is prounounced scott not scot…you see what i go through living in seattle…im surounded by racists…
— Scott S Fowler (@FwlrPerspective) March 25, 2019
The US is a melting pot with people from all over the world living here. I often encounter people with names that I'm not familiar with. It makes the world more interesting and misprounciation has always occured. Being offended about it is a selfish act.
— Jay Yarbrough? (@jay_yarbrough) March 24, 2019
Couldn’t agree more.
No one except Italians or the Spanish have ever pronounced my name correctly, even after I correct them.
Literally because of their RACISM!
— Daniele Riccardo (@dondan7) March 25, 2019
Im literally shaking after reading this. It’s 2019 ffs.
— Ailion (@ori0n7) March 25, 2019
Congrats!!! You’ve won the Gold Medal for today’s Outrage Olympics©️
— Kid in the Hall™️ (@Eradicator_NYC) March 24, 2019
And here we have more self-obsessed people desperate to make out they are victims of some sort of -ism, thus totally diluting the concept and taking away from genuine victims
— Kirsty Miller (@juscallmekirsty) March 24, 2019
Oh. My. Gosh. Are we really going to say it’s racist that people can’t pronounce names? I’ve never once taken it personally that anyone mispronounced my first or last name. It happens. Daily. I do it. You do it. It’s part of being unique. Come on.
— Kailenne B. (@kailenne) March 23, 2019
Oh shove it. My last name gets mispronounced a good seven times out of ten. At the very worst it’s a minor annoyance, and at best a dead giveaway that I’m talking to a telemarketer.
— Will Collier (@willcollier) March 25, 2019
If people don’t know how to pronounce your name it’s because 1. They have never heard it before and 2. We automatically pronounce words based of our mother tongue. You can only learn a name if given an opportunity to. You are not entitled to have your name known by the world
— Matilda Susanna Wallows (@MatildaSwallows) March 24, 2019
The demand for racism in America greatly exceeds the supply
— ᗩᑎᗪᖇEᗯ ᗯITᕼ ᗩ ᖴᗩᑎᑕY ᖴOᑎT (@amillermsme) March 24, 2019
Normal person asking normal question about name you've never encountered: hey is your name pronounced X?
Y: no, it's pronounced Y
First normal person: ok cool thanks Y
Normal person: hey is your name pronounced X
Internet weirdos: RACIST!!!!!!!
— Guy Incognito (@Kevin_in_PDX) March 25, 2019
Actual quote from this segment: “My name is a part of my identity, and to allow someone to say it wrong is stripping me of that.”
Good lord (And I say this as someone who has him name mispronounced several times a week).
— Box Seat 1971 (@BoxSeat2009) March 25, 2019
Don’t even try to pronounce my first name. That would end up in some form of racism.
— Guillaume Nicoulaud (@ordrespontane) March 24, 2019
I definitely get up every morning thinking about how I can mispronounce people’s names in order to better establish my dominance. It has nothing to do with my poor reading or language skills.
— Sheaffer Williams (@Randomfool2017) March 26, 2019
I wish my day to day problems were as minuscule as these. Having your name mispronounced is the stuff first graders worry about. ?
— PatRick B (@PatRick34033262) March 25, 2019
Oh, and yes, Keya should brush it off.
Writer who compared MAGA hats to swastikas frets about kids of affluent, white, anti-racist parents https://t.co/WEoG6Dapno
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) January 24, 2019