My full first name is Atul (pronounced Uh-tool with no accent on any syllable.) It’s not a nickname. It’s not shortened. It’s Indian and I’m proud of it. It’s only 4 letters and 2 syllables yet many people have a problem with it. They often see it or hear, don’t recognize it and then proceed to guess at what it should be (as if reading 4 letters is difficult.) Even worse, they figure out that it sounds like “a tool,” and get that smirk and snicker because they think it’s funny. They’re thinking “you’re a tool.” Turns out I’m not. Do they think they’re going to make me like them more by trying to make fun of my name? What people don’t realize is that even with English-acceptable names, there are many that sound like other words. We have just learned to accept them without thinking twice. To show the ridiculousness of people making fun of my name and other foreign ones, I have listed some common names that sound like other words and some equally asinine comments that could be used in response to their names…
- Matt You must enjoy getting stepped on when people walk in the door.
- John You’re named after a toilet
- Sandy Were you at the beach lately?
- Chuck What do you throw, rocks
- Dick You are a jerk aren’t you?
- Randy Don’t get fresh with me