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Never Be Afraid To Defend Your Name!

, , , , | Learning | April 10, 2021

[Friend #1] is half Turkish and fairly shy and quiet, and her name is somewhat unusual and has four syllables. We’ve got a new PE teacher who’s from Australia, going by her accent, and has a surname that’s quite typical in the UK but pronounced differently in Australia. She makes a point to highlight that it’s pronounced differently and there will be punishment if we get it wrong. She does the register, and [Friend #1] is near the start.

PE Teacher: “[Unknown Two-Syllable Name]?”

There’s no response.

PE Teacher: “Is she not here?”

Classmate #1: “Never heard of her before, Miss.”

PE Teacher: “[Unknown Two-Syllable Name] [Friend #1’s Surname]?”

Friend #1: *Quietly* “Oh, sorry. Here. My name is [Friend #1].”

The teacher doesn’t notice but continues on. She also butchers an Irish classmate’s name, which said classmate loudly corrects. The lesson starts, and every time she refers to [Friend #1], she calls out the two-syllable name instead. [Friend #1] corrects her quietly every time, but the teacher still doesn’t pay attention. It’s about halfway through and she’s gotten the name wrong about six times now.

PE Teacher: “[Two-Syllable Name].”

Me: *Snapping* “Her name is [Friend #1]! It’s not hard!”

PE Teacher: “Don’t talk to me like that!”

Me: “Don’t repeatedly get someone’s name wrong! She’s told you how her name is pronounced. Get it right!”

PE Teacher: “Well, I pronounce it like [Two-Syllable Name], as that’s the way Australia pronounces it!”

Friend #2: “And? She’s Turkish, not Australian, and we’re in the UK, not Australia. Even then, she pronounces it [Friend #1] and that’s all that matters!”

PE Teacher: “I will pronounce it [Two-Syllable Name] as that is the correct way!”

The class is silent.

PE Teacher: “Nobody correct me again, understand?”

Irish Classmate: “Yes, Miss [UK Pronunciation].”

PE Teacher: “My name is Miss [Australian Pronunciation]!”

Classmate #3: *Catching on quickly* “Yeah, but we pronounce it [UK pronunciation], and as we’re in the UK, I’d say that was the correct way.”

PE Teacher: “It’s not the correct way!”

Classmate #1: “It’s just as correct as you calling [Friend #1] by [Two-Syllable Name].”

Irish Classmate: Sucks when people don’t bother to learn your name, doesn’t it?”

We all started to do it until the teacher stormed off. We continued doing PE with the guidance of [Classmate #1], who was also taking sport studies as an extracurricular, until another PE teacher — who’s Indian — came over as he saw we were missing a teacher. We were told not to worry about anything after we explained, and we ended up finishing the lesson with the other class since we couldn’t be left unsupervised. It turned out that she had been repeatedly pronouncing names how she wanted, stating it was the Australian way — including the Indian PE teacher’s name. She didn’t last long.

This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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