WRITE MY NAME CORRECTLY! Why spelling ones name right is crucial

Real Estate Agent with CB Valley Broker

There is little more annoying than seeing ones name being butchered. 



It is astonishing how little effort people put into understanding and writing correctly what is an intricate part of a person. More often than not, in a university town especially, you will encounter people from all over the world and in a lot of cases their names are spelled in a way that is as far apart from the English language basics as Rome is from Beijing.

Nevertheless from wherever people come from, phonetics are not the ways to find out how their names are being spelled correctly. You will, with an American ear, hear often something very different than what it really is.

For instance the “I”, which is in a lot of other languages actually spelled like “E”.

I am a sufferer from that, blessed with a double first name, Ina-Annette, and in Germany always called Ina (that’s pronounced “Eena”), I quickly grew tired after our immigration to constantly correct the wrong spelling. So I switched to my second first name and pretty much everybody here spells and pronounces this correctly (unless I get an uncalled for abbreviation to Anne). But not everybody can and wants to do that.

I understand that people grow annoyed by having their name butchered all the time and put an extra effort into understanding and writing it correctly, even if that is not always 100% successful.

People will appreciate the effort and I have yet to find one who is not willing to spell and explain.

Point being, spelling and pronouncing ones name correctly and making it an important part of getting to know somebody shows personal respect. And who does not want to be respected?


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  1. Robert L. Brown 11/20/2011 07:12 PM
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Brett Reichel
Pacific Residential Mtg., LLC - NMLS 1477 / WA CL-1477 - Clackamas, OR
MLO 210215

Yep - respecting the individual by using their name correctly is very important to building rapport.  Great to see you post on this!


Nov 20, 2011 01:52 PM #1
Sara Garden
Rocky Mountain Home Staging - Boulder, CO
MBA, HSE, HSR, APSD, Home Stager

I agree. My name is easy,  Sara Garden, yet it is surprising how many of my friends, acquaintances and business colleagues don't bother noticing that 1. I don't have an H at the end of my first name and 2. that my last name is not GARDNER... It drives me crazy! And anyone who is trying to sell me something and can't get it right just doesn't want my business very bad...

Nov 20, 2011 01:54 PM #2
Annette Sievert
CB Valley Broker - Corvallis, OR
Corvallis, Oregon

Thanks for the comment, Brett, appreciated!

My point exactly, Sara, people say what they think they hear...

Nov 20, 2011 01:59 PM #3
Carlotta Remong
Berkshire Hathaway HS N.E. Prime Properties - Newport, RI

Annette,  yes there is nothing more annoying than to have your name misspelled over and over again even after you have explained the correct way to spell it.  Thanks for sharing.

Nov 20, 2011 03:02 PM #4
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 TheHomeFunnel.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Annette-I totally get it, I always have my name mispronounced and misspelled, so I really try hard to make sure I get someones name(s) right.



Nov 20, 2011 04:46 PM #5
Rob D. Shepherd
Coldwell Banker Coast - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

I always ask how to spell it. The embarrasing part is when they just told you their name and the last name is Smith.

Nov 20, 2011 05:46 PM #6
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Michigan

Can I say AMEN. I second this post and I appreciate you for pointing this out.

Nov 20, 2011 07:08 PM #7
Patty Mortara REALTOR, ABR, CRS | Hunterdon County (NJ)
Hunterdon Real Estate Group - Flemington, NJ

We were recently having this conversation over on facebook, how people spell your name how ever they feel it should be spelled. and its not just strangers, family members and friends do it too!  Then the other night I went to a business function and low and behold my name tag says "Pattie" ... erggh

Patty - with a Y, not an I, nor with an IE

Nov 20, 2011 07:24 PM #8
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate


Hi Annette - Great points. We work with a fair number of people from distant lands and difficult names, and at our first meeting we always ask them to teach us the proper way to say their names. It has never failed to be appreciated and always helps to build a positive relationship.


Nov 20, 2011 07:45 PM #9
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Roswell, GA
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

I am not hung up on what people call me, I am more interested in rapport with them.  My mom used to say, you can call me anything, just don't call me late for supper.  I work hard on some peoples names and some are very hard to pronounce, if they are difficult, they need to lighten up and know it is not disrespect, their name is just tough and we are all working on it.  Good discussion.

Nov 20, 2011 09:13 PM #10
Annette Sievert
CB Valley Broker - Corvallis, OR
Corvallis, Oregon

Carlotta, I totally agree..

yes, Adrian, if one knows how it feels...

Rob, that is hilarious, one can always say there are different ways to spell Smith...

Thanks Robert

I bet, Patty, how many ways are there just for your first name!

Dick, that is a great way of saying it, I will adapt that!

Mary, you are a clear minority!


Nov 21, 2011 11:41 AM #11
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Annette Sievert

Corvallis, Oregon
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