Monday, June 20, 2011

But his name isn't Skippy

His name wasn't Skippy.  It was Canine.  But no one corrected me.  For two hours I took pictures of the young man who owned the dog and I called the dog Skippy the whole time.  Now Canine, being a canine, responded.  A unique situation where he and his young master were the center of attention were enough to keep Canine engaged, no matter what I called him.  But not once in two hours did anyone say, but his name isn't Skippy.  The story later was that people always tended to make up their own name for this pup.  I'm not sure if that was true or simply said to make me feel less dumb. 

With a dog, it's not so bad.  I'm glad it wasn't a baby, or a person too shy or embarrassed to correct me.  Sally, look over here!  My name isn't Sally, it's Sue!  Oh.  Oops.  But, we all do it.  Whether because we truly forgot, had a momentary lapse in memory, misfired synapse, whatever... it happens.

When it happens to you, what do you do?  Grin and bear it?  Growl out your real name?  Shrink back too embarrassed or shy to correct?  Or simply look past the faux pas and pay more attention to the meaning and context of what was being communicated.  Honestly for me, it depends.  I strive for focusing more on the meaning and context than the details most of the time.  But there's something to be said for speaking up as well.  And sometimes, annoyance prevails if I feel slighted, unimportant, or not paid attention to in an appropriate manner.

In Canine's case, along with his owners, no one really cared.  And so, I shrugged off my feeling of embarrassment and focused on the fun of capturing the moments of this young man and his dog.  But it also reminded me to focus more and ask questions if I'm unsure.  I sometimes even take notes - but don't tell anyone!


  1. I always correct people. I figure they'll find out eventually, so why not now ? Also, I just can't answer to "Maria". We're not all named that! :D I've twice corrected people at college-wide staff meetings because I just didn't want to be forever to be called "Magna" (as in Cum Laude) or Manana (as in tomorrow!) It's not that hard. All I say is, "Actually, it's Carmen" or "It's actually Magana" (Pretend the tilde is there). Maybe I need to relax a little...

    Carmen-not Maria!

  2. It took me a long time to actually correct people. Or rather, correct people graciously. I really despise being called TheresA, because that's not my name, Maria (LOL). Now I can comfortably and gently correct people but I sometimes choose not to if the timing or context isn't quite right... A name is a very personal thing, and, pun intended, something we identify with rather closely. Why not get it right, indeed. Isn't there a pop song out with the recurring refrain "that's not my name, that's not my name..." Perhaps I'm making up my own lyrics again... :)

  3. I don't think it bothered Canine too much though! LOL


  4. So funny because in my taekwondo class the instructor often mixes me up with another woman and calls us by each other's names. We've learned to just answer to either one!