Mrs Morrison's Hotel

The 100% personal official blog for Patricia Kennealy Morrison, author, Celtic priestess, retired rock critic, wife of Jim

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I was, wait, sorry, that's "David Copperfield". Anyway, I was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Long Island, went to school in upstate NY and came straight back to Manhattan to live. Never lived anywhere else. Never wanted to. Got a job as a rock journalist, in the course of which I met and married a rock star (yeah, yeah, conflict of interest, who cares). Became a priestess in a Celtic Pagan tradition, and (based on sheer longevity) one of the most senior Witches around. Began writing my Keltiad series. Wrote a memoir of my time with my beloved consort (Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison). See Favorite Books below for a big announcement...The Rennie Stride Mysteries. "There is no trick or cunning, no art or recipe, by which you can have in your writing that which you do not possess in yourself." ---Walt Whitman (Also @ and

Monday, August 07, 2006

A Name By Any Other Rose

Why is it when you introduce yourself or sign your name as, oh, let’s say, just f’rinstance, “Patricia”, all too often the other person responds right back by calling you “Pat”?

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.


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