My name has been a source of pride and sometimes shameful.
I have had my name repeatedly mispronounced: They are pronounced Geee…..vaaa (following the sounds of words), when it is just a “G and va”.
I have had and still until today my name repeatedly misspelled: It’s spelled as a “J” instead of “G”, especially in the Asian culture. I sometimes have to quickly jump in to say, it’s a “G”.
I have had people who said, I thought you were a male because of your name.
Despite that, I had a new acquaintance who said otherwise …..
“I like your name, it’s truly Indian but also sounds easy to spell globally. When you say “Geeva” there is a lot of intensity being felt”.
Addressing a person by their given name incorrectly is not just a matter of being rude or not being polite. It’s also a diversity and inclusion issue, it suggests that you’re choosing your own linguistic comfort over your identity.
The better way is to ask:
️ I want to make sure that I say your name correctly. Could you please pronounce your name for me? If you didn’t catch it the first time, politely ask them one more time.
️ You have a very unique name; how do I pronounce it or how is it spelled?
Remember, when somebody gave a name to their child – it came with a lot of planning and choosing a perfect name, with big dreams and hope.
Let’s show some #respect!