A boy named Elvis
People will mess up your kid’s names, no matter they’re spelt.
If you’ve been on the internet for longer than five minutes, you’ll have noted that spelling abilities are optional when it comes to writing and commenting. Similarly, if you have a child in a big class at school, you’ll have seen that kid’s names may also come with some wild variations. And all babies at some point have a silent ‘p’.

As someone who always has to stipulate that my name has two ‘t’s, I have learned to accept occasional misspellings. I’m also sure that Ian and Iain are used to it, as are Steven and Stephen and Cathryn, Catherine and Katherine. Check out this brilliant Michael McIntyre sketch on the phenomenon.

MM: Same Name/Different Spelling

I’ve had my own children’s names muddled. Jonah has been called Johan (and this was at a hospital where you’d like to think that your child’s identity is one thing which won’t be surgically altered) and Hannah has been known to have an ‘h’ chopped off every now and then. Let’s not discuss the debacle of Hannah Montana appearing just as my daughter was old enough (to her annoyance) to have people tack on a “Montana” just “for laughs.”

There are names spelt differently for regional reasons (different dialects and treatments of the language) and names spelt differently simply because the parents wanted an unusual angle on a regular name or else they didn’t double-check the spelling and just went with phonetic spelling.

Retrospectively, it’s easy to think you could have come up with different names, but it’s almost impossible to imagine the pitfalls of certain names unless you give your child your own name. Because having three generations of people with the same name in the same family isn’t confusing at all!

Don’t mess with my name!

It can be irritating to have someone spell your name wrong: as Parent24 writer Cath Jenkin notes, she frequently gets emails employing various misspellings of her name despite her name being right there, in her email address…

Ylwiss Aron Pressley

There’s a certain pride attached to a name. Take Elvis, for example. According to elvis.com.au, he was named Elvis Aron Presley, but then had an extra ‘A’ added to his middle name to make it more biblical in spelling. His birth certificate had one 'a' but official state records has it with two 'a's. His grandfather’s name was spelt ‘Pressley’- the old man’s name was Jessie Pressley, and Elvis’s stillborn twin had a similar name, Jesse Presley. The name Elvis is said to come from either the Irish name Ailbe, Norse name Alviss or the surname Elwes. All these name stories from the man who would sing “You can knock me down, step in my face, slander my name all over the place.” (Blue Suede Shoes).

What do you think: does the way a name is spelt matter?

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