here’s a leftover holiday nugget to kick off the year…
…and it really surprises me when this still happens.
my name is phonetic. i know this. it comes from the old celtic language, “gaelic” and means “john”. but much like i have told many a taco restaurant (as i go into a lengthy diatribe i’ll spare you today about how the name “juan” isn’t phonetic either and is also the equivalent of “john”) it’s been around for centuries and has really come into its own in the last decade or two and by not knowing this you’re…well…obviously clueless and more than a bit ignorant of what’s going on around you.
a lot of people equate the word “ignorant” and “stupid” which isn’t fair – to be “stupid” is to lack intelligence in general, while being “ignorant” is to lack information about a specific subject. i’m by no means stupid, but i’m ignorant about mandarin chinese because…well…i don’t know chinese.
that being said, some turn out to be both.
i had to run to target to get the santa gift for the kiddo. it wasn’t originally SUPPOSED to be the santa gift. hell, it wasn’t even originally on our massive list o’ gift plans. but i had voted against the concept of the “big gift” (i.e. a wii u, MSRP $300) coming from a fictional character (i.e. “santa”) while we gave him little shit. sue me – i have no problems keeping alive myth and lore to encourage a child’s smile and all that sentimental hallmark-channel-grade shit, but i’m not going to give him that kind of budget. fuck all that, he can take second tier.
…i ran to pick up a gift the ufw picked up online. when i went to grab it i presented the online order number and the confirmation number on my iPhone. gave them them the ufw’s real name. but then i heard something i have never heard before and it through me for a loop. see, in order to facilitate this she had to put my name down, and did so with my middle name (sean) which is what i go by…and while i’ve had the pronunciation murdered with it being “seen” (which might just be poor eyesight, i suppose) i have never in forty-three-plus years had my name pronounced “seein'”, and this was by a white girl that appeared around my age (43) or older.
i just sat there. she said it again, and i just kept sitting there. not to be an asshole, but more because it never occurred to me she was calling me.
finally she said, “sir – do you go by ‘seein”…that’s your name or something?” and i replied, “no – it’s pronounced ‘sean’, dear”.
she insultingly fired back “no, ‘sean’ is spelled with an ‘s-h’, not ‘s-e-a-n’, you know”.
“incorrect”, i retorted, “it’s the proper, original spelling…while the “s-h” versions were more popular when i was a kid in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and i’ll assume before, since the late 1980’s it’s more common to use the correct spelling like mine, and i honestly haven’t seen anybody use that one who isn’t my age or older”.
“it must be some new way of spelling it”, she continued.
“well, if you count several centuries old as ‘new’, then yes”, i said.
“i guess i’m just ignorant of what’s going on in the world”, she stated.
“and that must explain why at your age you’re still behind the target counter”, i closed with, and walked away.
and that was that.
a quick post-script…i took the title from what i THOUGHT was a legitimate tennessee license plate, but it turns out it was just a sign from and old simpsons episode…is there nothing they HAVEN’T given us?