Say my name



a for apple r for robert t for tom and i for …ice cream

Imagine I had to say that every time I had to introduce myself.

Well this is the kind of advice I got at my internship, because I could hear people giggling on both sides, just at the crazy idea that nobody could say or spell my name. I was calling a source one day and they asked me to spell my name, so I did. But you know those random times when your P’s and B’s sound the same…okay I get it, some people have a hard time hearing, but I had realized when I said Arti, a-r-t-i, it would suddenly confuse people. (I guess I was never used to saying my name).

Before this turns into a rant, let me just say, I am the kind of person who really never bothered making people say my name right. ARDI, ARCHIE, AREE, ARTAY, ARTHI I’ve heard it all. Since I was a kid, I have had to Canadian-ize, I guess, my name for people to understand. Plus, we grew up with comic characters like Archie, yeah, imagine people saying that when you were six. So it never bothered me. I guess I said a bunch of people’s names wrong all the time as well. I was usually the only Arti, so I would say R-T. Like the two letters. I thought it was simple. Why on earth is it so hard to spell and pronounce? (and yes I heard the joke, so you were born in Scarborough right, do you take the RT, please find a new one).

So this brings me to this picture, this restaurant receipt. I went to Mandarin a few weeks ago and I had said my name was Arti, sorry what? ARR-TEE. how do you spell that? A-R-T-I….so artee?..Yes, like the letters RT. And what do I get on my bill? RTARTI. I laughed.

But my favourite one is when people ask me this question: So Arti, what is your name short for? What the hell, why does a four-letter unfamiliar South Asian name seem so, well, short. Like my name had to have been so long, there was no way anyone would get it. What do you think my name is Artisindiyasethurina? Actually, my name, is quite popular and is a Hindu prayer. (yes, I have also heard, so we are doing arti today).

All I can say is, it is slowly becoming a pet peeve and I know it will in the future, because I am not moving away from this industry. I just hope in the future we have more Arti’s and Patel’s (please, more Patel’s) in this industry that my name wouldn’t be so uncommon. And if your name is even longer, well I hope you are inspired to laugh it off or do the opposite of me–fight back and demand some pronunciation.

Fun Fact: My name is actually supposed to be spelled Aarti, double A, but my parents wanted to be unique I guess…or they didn’t know the English translation. Also, my name when I left the hospital was actually Lisa Patel…but my mom forced my dad to change it to an Indian name. At least my dad knew I would have problems.

I would love to know, what was your name supposed to be? Or what choices did your parents have?

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