Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What's In A Name?

'lA-jane-dlA'... That's how I used to pronounce my name, long, long time ago, when I had barely started communicating in my mother tongue. It was my dad's assignment, late in the evening, after dinner, to bring out the 'R' in me with a proper roll of the tongue, which, thankfully, he managed successfully.

I mention this so that you understand how sensitive I am regarding making fun of people who have pronunciation or stammering problems, even though I never had such a problem later in my life. But that shouldn't stop me from writing about this incident which happened in my office today.

A new guy has joined our team. This fellow stammers while saying his name. The name as such isn't long: only four letters. But when he pronounces it, the first syllable would take 5/6ths of the time. (That's a rough estimate as I don't have a stop watch to time it.)

What's more amazing is, each time he introduces himself, he would pronounce it similarly.

That made me ponder: May be the poor fellow is pronouncing his name as it should be! After all, who better can pronounce one's name than one own self! It reminds me of the African tribesmen who have clinks in their names which the stand-up comedian Russell Peters doesn't fail to admire.

Had I been able to keep a straight face each time he said it, I would have given him the benefit of doubt and remarked, "That sounds tough to pronounce. Would it be okay if we called you 'Ravi' instead?"


K.Boy said...

Good Humour. Still I did not get your real name!

prabhu.i.am said...

That's a BayKon seKret.