Another Daily Prompt post, whee. “Jangle”. I’m not going to be talking about bells, or Christmas, or Bojangles. I’m actually posting this because someone recently replied my email and misspelled my name as “Jangle”. Now, I’m not sure about you, but having my name spelled wrongly kinda annoys me. Especially when I’ve spelled it for you in the previous email, or already told you how to spell it previously. Call me sensitive, but I just think that remembering someone’s name and making an effort to spell it correctly is a sign of respect. Still reading? Here are a few reasons it winds me up
like sand getting into certain body parts just a little bit.
It shows that you don’t have enough time for someone.
This is especially true in written correspondence. Most of the time, this someone will have provided their name in an email/letter/CV/fax/text/death threat that they originally sent you. You literally have no excuse. Misspelling their name in this instance shows that you haven’t taken the time to check that you’ve spelled their name correctly, and they’re not worth your respect – the kind that makes you want to allocate a fraction of your busy life to showing them common courtesy. It takes a few seconds, but counts for everything. First impressions etc etc.
It shows that they’re not that important to you after all.
Now, before you get all “special snowflake” on me, not remembering what someone has told you in the past is pretty rude. I understand that we just don’t have enough brain space for things, and I’ve never been great with remembering people’s names myself. I usually do that thing where I remember their face and then come up with a nickname based on their most prominent feature in my head, and then gasp in horror when I realise that I’ll probably have to see them the following day and I’ve completely blanked on their name.
This is a huge no-no in the workplace too – casually forgetting the name of the guy who sits opposite you but remembering the CEO’s name, birthday AND the name of his dog? Someone’s name is a pretty fundamental part of who they are, and forgetting this shows that you don’t really care about the rest of what they have to offer as a person. Please don’t do it.
It makes you look insincere.
This follows on from my previous point. Forgetting someone’s name or how to spell it makes them wonder if any of your (possibly feigned) interest in the rest of the conversation was genuine. I understand that not everyone you talk to at a dinner party/work/gathering/event will float your boat. If you’ve chosen to engage in conversation, at least do them the favour of remembering the fundamentals of who they are. Doesn’t matter how many syllables their name has, or how disinterested you are in their chatter.
That’s it, rant over. If you’ve ever spoken to someone who seems to have severe Alzheimer’s only when it comes to your name, I’m sure you know this feeling all too well. I’m not the best person with names either, but it’s something I’ve really been working at, and intend to continue. I’d love to hear some of your stories of name-blanking.