A Name By Any Other Rose
I don’t know about you, but when this happens to me, I get really, really steamed, very often to the point of actual (gasp!) rudeness in correcting them. But then they’re oblivious to rudeness anyway, or they would never have miscalled you in the first place, and they just don’t seem to get that their unauthorized nomenclatural curtailing is an insult as well as a problem.
My general first response is a friendly, if warning-toned, “‘PATRICIA’???!!!...”. Sometimes the correction works, particularly if I am giving off an armed and dangerous vibe. But all too often it doesn’t. And I wonder why people are so (a) discourteous, (b) ignoring, and (c) stupid.
In high school, it was really, really hard to get people to call me “Patricia”. I didn’t yet have either the confidence or the forcefulness to correct the miscreants and make sure they STAYED corrected, so I accepted the hateful “Pat”, even though I loathed it more than you can possibly imagine.
In college, everyone but boyfriends called me “Kennealy” (or, if they were professors, “Miss Kennealy”), which was just fine. Boyfriends called me “Patty”, as my family did (and still does), but no one else was, or is, allowed.
If I were to consider this sort of thing from a sociological standpoint, I would guess that the automatic shortening of someone’s name is a handy old means for the other person to diminish and control, or else a misguided attempt at intimacy or informality. Or just laziness. But whatever the motive, it’s unthinkingly and seriously rude.
I mean, if someone tells you what their name is, then THAT’S THEIR FREAKING NAME.!!! That’s how they see themselves and that’s how they want you to see them and address them, and you have no right whatsoever to dis them by calling them something else.
My response of choice at the moment is to simply and completely ignore any misguided mannerless moron who doesn’t call me by my preferred and indeed actual name. If they question my nonresponse, I just point out that Hey, MY name is PATRICIA, I have no idea who this “Pat” you’re addressing might be. Then they get all huffy, and I can enjoy that. Quite a lot.