A Rows By Any Other Name

How many of you are cringing at that title? Are you looking for an edit button somewhere, anywhere? Any idiot knows it’s rose, not rows, right? Misspelling that word changes the meaning entirely and makes the mis-speller look careless, disrespectful, or downright rude.

That’s exactly how I feel any time someone misspells my name.

My name is Theresa, but you’d be amazed at the amount of correspondence I get addressed to Teresa. It’s one thing if they’re initially reaching out after meeting me or being suggested to contact me and have only heard my name. What’s amazing and appalling are the number of times someone replies to an email, with my name spelled out right there in my signature, and loses the “h”. It literally occurs more often than not. Or the people who email me through Facebook. Once again, it’s right there, spelled out T-H-e-r-e-s-a.

Just like spelling rose – rows changes the meaning, misspelling a name does also. I know several Teresa’s. One of them is one of my best friends. I have no problem with the name. But it’s not ME.

My name and its spelling were chosen specifically. When my mom was five she promised her best friend, Theresa, that if she ever had a daughter she would name her after her. That story says volumes about my mom and it makes me incredibly proud to be the fulfillment of that promise.

Because of that history I’m also sensitive to others’ names. I have a couple of friends who both spell their names phonetically as well as literally. Both are important to their identity.

It just seems like a basic requirement. Communication 101. Social Media 101. Business 101. Particularly Business. If I’m looking to work with you and I write Dear Jon instead of Dear John, you would doubt whether I’d be a good person to trust with your trade. If I want to interview you and my request starts with Michele instead of Michelle, are you going to trust my quotes will be accurate? No way.

If you’re replying to an email, take one second and look at the signature of the person you’re replying to and make sure you’ve got it right. If you’re sending an email on Facebook or LinkedIn or any of the other Social Media sites, take that second and look at the name. It’s simple and quick and, while it may not keep you from looking careless, or disrespectful, or downright rude, it will not ensure you do.

3 thoughts on “A Rows By Any Other Name”

  1. April , 2010- I spell my name with an “H”, also, and even though I’ve had my name decades before you, I was also named after a dear friend of my Mothers’ from Philadelphia. I do not have a brother named Adam … but; I have a son named Adam. I also was a Photographer in my youth and the editor of a Yearbook. Talk about de ja vue when I hit your site! Now all I need to hear is that you’ re a redhead, and your Dad was from Arkansas.
    I now understand why I get so many e-mails (Which I wish to keep private, please) that confuse me with you. Your accomplishments are many and very noteworthy-congratulations on having a very real and extremely honest site. Mine are modest by comparison, but I find the comparison amusing when I open those e-mails. What is your middle name? As a child I use to get all the Valentines from class exchanges that stared with a “T” and were over 5 letters long, because no one knew how to spell T-h-eresa. In H.S. my friends started calling me TerriLou.Guess what? They misspell that too, HaHa.—-Teri, Terry, Terrie. I’ll alway be a TLC, tho. Sincerely yours,

    • So nice to meet another TLC, and a Theresa Carter at that! My nickname is also Teri, but my dad and a very few select friends call me that (and they always misspell it). I think part of my touchiness about the spelling stems back to never being able to find a license plate for my bicycle 🙂

      And yes, I’m a redhead!

  2. What a great blog post. I agree with you 100% in that you would wonder if someone was worthy of doing business with if they don’t pay attention to simple details like someone’s name. I personally introduce myself as Michael. I mean, shaking someone’s hand, saying ‘Hi, I’m Michael’, and they say ‘Hi Mike, how are you?’… I’m like what!??!

    Sales people do this a lot. They think they are getting buddy buddy with you right off the bat giving you a nickname – thinking they know what I want to be called. But really, they are just not paying attention. They aren’t listening.

    Yes, this went off on a little bit of a different direction with names, but the bottom line is just what you stated – you have to wonder if a new contact is worth working with…

    Great Job, Theresa,


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