Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Name Is Also Not Bill!

An anonymous contact related to WritersMarket.com must be reading this blog, because she knew I didn't go by Bob. Instead, she changed my name to Bill.

While not as common, this has happened to me before. Bill is short for William, not Robert. Why do people feel this urge to change other people's names?

Also, while we're on the subject of name-calling, my last name has been modified twice in the past week. One person addressed me as Robert Lee Butler; the other person addressed me as Robert Lee Brower.

For the record, it's Robert Lee Brewer.



Anonymous said...

It's not that they call you Bill, thinking that's short for Robert. They, in their head, automatically convert your name to Bob, and then when they try to recall it, just remember that it's a short/common B name, thus Bill.

It's a slightly more complicated version of how many times people who don't know me call me Kevin, instead of Keith. They subconciously know it's a K name, and Kevin comes first, sometimes.

Brian K said...

Just do what I do: When someone messes up your name, mess up their's. Steve = Stew. Joe = Moe. Brian = Good Looking. ;-)


Unknown said...

YES! I understand completely!
For females, my name "Patricia" is one of the names that receives instant reinterpretation by most listeners. It is so commonplace for people to respond with a shortened "Pat" version within seconds that I have given up trying to realign their thinking. It has boggled my mind for years! Haven't found a solution yet--good luck!

... Paige said...

Amazing after all this time of e-hangin with you that I am just now finding out your last name is Sheesh. Speaking of which that is an unusual sir name, may I inquire as to its origin?

Robert Lee Brewer said...


Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I sympathise - and also with Patricia. My friends and colleagues get it that my name is Rosemary, and if they don't it usually only takes me saying once, "Please don't shorten my name" - but strangers are harder to control and often convert it to Rose (or even Rosie or Ro) without asking. Ugh! Even my doctor does it. I have asked him not to, but it seems he forgets or didn't pay attention. Hmmm, come to think of it, I might change to a doctor who LISTENS to what I tell him.

Anonymous said...

Tricia here.

Will someone please toss me a lifeline??? My company policy requires my business cards and email to say "Patricia." After much whining and carrying on (on my part), HR relented and put "Tricia" (in quotations) after "Patricia" on business cards and email address. However, new colleagues and associates do not see "Tricia" and shorten my name to "Pat." It is absolutely teeth-gritting. May I politely correct them? If so, how?