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Twitter users reveal hilarious tactics to fix misspelt names in emails

·3-min read
Image of woman frustrated, yelling at laptop, screenshot of tweet
Do people spell your name wrong in emails all the time? Here's how you could get them to realise their error. (Source: Getty, Twitter)

An email lands in your inbox, so you open it. But as soon as you read the first line, the rest of the message might as well not exist.

You’ve only got eyes on one thing, and that’s your name, which the sender has spelled incorrectly.

People around the world frustrated about running into this recurring problem in email exchanges took to Twitter to share their experiences – as well as the cheeky ways they eventually got the sender to spell their name right.

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The anecdotes were kicked off by an initial tweet by Terisa Siagatonu.

“My name is in the email and my name is the email, so why are you spelling it wrong: a memoir,” she said in a tweet that has since been retweeted nearly 10,000 times and liked nearly 45,000 times.

“I’m literally just telling you to spell my name right. Spell all of our names right! Or else!,” she added.

Responses came pouring in soon after, with others clearly having similar sentiments – and also sharing how they reacted.

A user by the name of ‘Corrine’ confessed she “recently did a very passive aggressive thing”.

“Someone misspelt my name in an email and I purposefully misspelt hers in response. In her next mail my name was spelt correctly,” she said. “Message received.”

Another by the name of Corinne then replied, saying she received many emails that begin with “Dear Connie”.

But in each subsequent response, she would do something that would start out subtle – but get less and less subtle each time.

“I increase the font on my signature with each reply until they get it right,” she tweeted.

“One time it was up to about 24 point and the person was finally, ‘it appears I misspelled your name.’”

Screenshot of Twitter thread
Twitter users shared sneaky methods to get people to spell their name right. (Source: Twitter)

Many other users then responded with their own experiences of hospitality workers or even their teachers getting their name wrong.

Another Twitter user, June, said she often had people call her “Jane, Joy, or Judy”.

Users in the replies also remarked that getting people’s names right was a “minimal courtesy”.

“I find it astonishing how many people...aren't careful about that? What, were you raised by WOLVES???” they joked.

Why getting a name right matters

While these mistakes can be put down to little more than forgetfulness or a momentary lapse of attention, addressing someone by the wrong name can have a significant impact on individuals’ sense of identity and self, especially if they are a minority or a person of colour.

It’s the reason why people from diverse backgrounds might anglicise their names. Research from Stanford University and the University of Toronto shows that almost half of black and Asian job candidates changed the presentation of their name to erase any racial cues and ‘whiten’ their names.

“Minorities may be particularly likely to experience disadvantage when they apply to ostensibly pro-diversity employers,” the researchers wrote.

Meanwhile, others might choose to use their real names but encounter instances where people get it wrong time and time again anyway.

For the person who makes the mistake, this kind of error can fly under the radar, University of Michigan assistant professor of psychology Myles Durkee told BBC.

“What makes it detrimental is the chronic pattern of doing this consistent mispronunciation. And the ripple effects from that are much more adverse, signalling to the individual that they're less important, that they're less valued.”

In fact, mispronouncing someone’s name can even be described as a ‘micro-assault’, Durkee said.

“Micro-assaults are much more explicit, intentional forms of discrimination or disrespect. Strategically mispronouncing someone's name is a way of othering someone.”

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