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  • Writer's pictureBrianna Dunbar

Our Names are Our Identities: Spelling Matters

Names matter. Spelling of names matter. Pronunciation of names matter.


Our names are our identities.


My name is actually pretty simple, but now and then I’m called a Brian, Bryanna, Briana, etc. And it has me thinking about the names that appear harder than they are. You know the names I’m talking about. The names that the holders change to make it easier for others to say and spell.


But when we refuse to make an effort to pronounce someone’s name correctly, it suggests that you’re choosing your own linguistic comfort over their identity.


And in some cultures, names can hold richly rooted connections.


Here are a few things you can do (and inspire other to as well).


✅ Double check the spelling before sending!

✅ When you don’t know, just ask.

✅ Be an ally. Add the phonetic spelling of your name to your email signature to help others understand the correct pronunciation of your name.

✅ Be gracious. Do not show that you are doing them a favor by trying to pronounce their name right or that the effort is onerous for you.



Click here to view the post on LinkedIn.

Image by Brianna Dunbar.

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