Yesterday, Dan Haseltine, lead singer of Jars of Clay, tweeted, “Officially Pronounced: Hass-el—tyn e (silent e) or Hassell tine. or Hasselhoff without the hoff but with the tine. not teen.”
I know how he feels. All my life people have been mispronouncing my name. Even as I sat in the doctor’s office waiting room yesterday reading that tweet, the doctor walked by and said, “Hey Corrine! I’ll be with you in a minute” pronouncing my name incorrectly, as if there were no “e” at the end.
I usually only correct people if I am meeting them for the first time. After that, I don’t want to embarrass them or myself by saying, “Um…we’ve known each other for a while now, and you still can’t seem to get my name right.” It’s usually somebody that I don’t see very often, so what’s the harm if they say my name in that way that sounds like fingernails on the chalkboard…I mean…if they say it incorrectly? It’s better than embarrassing them.
Or is it? Sometimes the people you don’t see very often become people you work with, and then it gets uncomfortable.
We have been going to our church and have known the staff casually for about eight years, but not in any way where they had to use my name much. I guess I wasn’t even really aware that everyone at the church pronounced it wrong. Okay. I was very aware. But heck, how do you correct the entire church staff?
Once a year, our church puts on a concert. I’m in charge of the volunteers and selling tickets. A year and a half ago, we were getting ready to bring in Phil Wickham. I got a message on my phone from our music pastor. It was the first time he had ever called me and gotten my voicemail. His message started with, “Um…I noticed I have been pronouncing your name wrong for years. You should correct me.” We were both embarrassed, but we laughed about it. The fact that it was funny made it easy to spread the story around to others in the church, and thus correct everyone at the same time. Of course, now that I let them pronounce it wrong for so long, it’s even harder for them to remember which is the right way. But they do try, and I love them for that.
I may never meet some of you in person, but when you read my tweets and this blog, you should be able to pronounce my name properly in your head. So here is a very short tutorial.
I was named after the French movie star from the 1950’s Corinne Calvet. As my mom sat in her high school typing class typing the name and dreaming of her someday when she would be a wife and mother, she changed the spelling to Corrine, and decided on the pronunciation.
My name, Corrine, is pronounced Kor-REEN . Think of it like the stuff in bleach, chlorine. They end the same, “rine”, which you’d think would be pronounced “ryne” with a long “I” sound instead of a long “e” sound. That’s the way computer voices pronounce it, Ko-RYNE.
Mostly people call me Corinne, which is pronounced Kor-RIN. I know they don’t mean to say it wrong, but that pronunciation just grates on me. I don’t know why. I guess because it’s not my name. I think it sounds harsh that way. I often wonder which I’d prefer if I just came upon the name, and it wasn’t my name.
Click here to hear the difference between how I pronounce my name (the first entry) and how you should not pronounce my name (the second entry).
I’ll also answer to KREEN or Ker-REEN. Seems like a less-formal version of Kor-REEN. That’s how my family has always said it, so it feels homey. My cousins always sang “Corrina, Corrina” to me, or “Kreen in my coffee, dirt in my toes” while they were teasing me. I don’t know where they got that last one from, but at least they pronounced it correctly.