Skip to main content


Topics/Tags: Miscellaneous, short

The other day, as I was chatting with Andi Tracy on Facebook, I asked myself, I wonder how often people end up addressing her as Andy Traci or Traci Andy or something else? While that’s a bit of a facetious question, it did get me thinking about common or potential misnamings I encounter (or might encounter) at Grinnell.

Paul Hutchison appears to be the most common case. I’d swear I hear people refer to him as Paul Hutchinson more than I hear people use his real name. I guess he’s learned to put up with it. I assume that Jackie has the same problem, but I seem to encounter it less.

While I don’t hear people mispronounce Jerod Weinman’s name, I regularly see them misspell it. If I recall, Jared seems to be the most common, but I’m sure there are others.

I know that David Lopatto prefers to be referred to as David, but surprisingly many abbreviate it to Dave. I’ve even found myself doing the same.

I wonder how often the scientific Leslies [1] encounter the spelling of the artistic Lesleys [2] and vice versa.

I think people pronounce Dean Bakopoulos’ name correctly, but I’ve also heard that the correctness does not carry through to the spelling. I’d think that would be one that people would look up to be sure [3], but what do I know? Life would be so much easier if he just changed his last name to Nutting [4].

Postscript: My muse insists that I try to write something about how John Garrison experiences a misspelling of his last name as Rommereim or vice versa. But she hasn’t given me a good idea of how to phrase that concept. I do worry that there are times that her sense of humor is even worse than mine.

Postscript: I’ve neglected to mention one of the most common misnamings on campus; too few of the non-faculty Ph.D.’s on campus have their appropriate titles acknowledged.

Postscript: I intended this musing as something a bit lighter than the recent thoughts about retention, graduation rights, and the complexities of preregistration. But names are important, so I’m not sure I chose the right topic.

[1] Gregg-Jolly, Jaworski, and Lyons.

[2] Delmenico and Wright.

[3] That’s certainly what I do.

[4] That was intended as a joke, a play on the regular demand that women change their names.

Version 1.0 of 2019-12-08.