Name issues deserve consideration: PSA on pronunciation


Dear unaware people of America, Hello, my name is Elsie. Not Elise, not Elisys, not Elouise. It is Elsie. Pronounced like the letters “LC.” I am the victim of the subtle yet deadly mistake of a commonly mispronounced name. Yes, it is deadly.elsieonline

As the school year unfolds, a whole new set of teachers and students get the opportunity to butcher my name. Yes, Mr. Delkamiller, I am talking about you. And you Ms. Janata. As well as Ms. Travis (every single day of my junior year). Don’t even get me started on Mr. Baker. And, finally, the worst of all, Mrs. Spanbauer.

As a freshman, my name was annnounced at the May Crowning Ceremony because I had been selected when I was an innocent second grader to attend this event.

When Mrs. Spanbauer called my name, bless her soul, she said Elise Stormberg. You can imagine all of the teasing I got from friends on that sad day.

Teachers are not the only ones guilty of mispronunciation. Students do it, too. My friends especially enjoy calling me Elise. Another name they liked to call me was “Smelsie,” which is borderline bullying. My FRIENDS called me that. Yes, I do have issues with my name. It is a simple, understandable mistake (not including my terrible friends), but I still feel the need to give each and every one of you a quick grammar lesson.

The name Elsie is spelled E-L-S-I-E, while the name Elise is spelled E-L-I-S-E. The “s” and the “i” are just jumbled. The origin of Elsie is Scottish, and it is a diminutive of the name Elizabeth, meaning “pledged to God.” However, the origin of Elise is French, also a diminutive of the name Elizabeth.

There is nothing wrong with the name Elise, and I have nothing against it, but well, I do. It’s not all the Elises’ faults. It’s not all the Elsies’ faults, either. It is the people who are unaware of the difference in the names. Please, do not take offense to anything I have written. I am just simply making you aware of the mistake you have been making for the past four years.

Love, Elsie (LC)

P.S. All teachers mentioned have given me permission to use their names in my piece. After this, they won’t ever mispronounce my name.

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