There was an article in the paper the other day by Georgia Powell. it might seem her name would be easy to pronounce from the spelling – Pow-ell, but should it be pronounced Poll? Or Pole? I have problems with people not knowing how to spell my name, ElsdEn or ElsdOn, and my first name is pronounced in all sorts of ways by people who have never come across it before – Loys, Lo-ese, Loose, Lose, Louise, Louis, Lewis, Lucy, Loi (as in the French toi)… I’ve heard them all…

Ms Powell makes the point that even in families there can be different pronunciations, political adviser brothers Jonathan and Charles Powell have a different Pole/Pow-ell preference. I guess Powells have to constantly spell their names, just to get it right, but then have the problem of people calling them Pow-ell even if they want Pole/Poll. With the recent sad demise of David Bowie the media was full of Boughie/Bo-ie discussions.

I guess it’s a potayto/potarto, tomayto/tomarto sort of thing…

If you want to read Ms Powell’s article…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/margaret-thatcher/12146605/Pow-ell-or-Pole-The-knotty-problems-of-how-to-pronounce-a-tricky-surname.html

4 thoughts on “How do you spell that?

  1. When I was a kid in grade school in Canada my classmates started calling me Louie instead of Lewis and it didn’t take long before I became Screwy Louie. Still get that from old friends when I run into them. Sorta like it as it brings back old memories of happier times. Call me Screwy if you want Loys.

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    • We have a friend in the village (who used to be landlord of the Dolphin before he went into fitting wood-burning stoves) and his name was Paul Lewis and is always called Louie! I actually like the name Louis, and would have liked it for our son… he became Rory instead!

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