Who the Heck is Colleen Cochran?

Allow me to reintroduce myself.  My name is Kelaine Conochan — and you can quote me on this– the one and only.  In the whole wide world wide web.

I love my name.  It’s dope.  It looks awesome in print.  It’s original.  But there’s one substantial drawback to having a unique name.  People can’t even pronounce nothing.  They all miss out on the opportunity to try something new.  My name is your favorite restaurant and these idiots are ordering chicken fingers.

ways you know you're mispronouncing someone's nameIt’s my name.  It’s who I am.  I just want you to get it right.  Is that so much to ask?  That you call me by the only name I’ve ever had?

Too many of us approach meeting someone new with such a casual regard that we entirely miss the few syllables that identify that person from the other 6.7 billion weirdos on this planet.

We hear Frank, but he said Franco.  We aren’t sure if she said Tracy or Stacey or Lacey or Casey, so we just avoid conversation altogether.   Or, how about this one.  Sing along if you know it.  He introduces himself but you’ve never heard that name.  Is that Hungarian?  He’s shouted it three times already, but you just don’t really get it.  You’re not stupid, but hellooooo!  Are you going to ask him a fourth time while this DJ plays Hypnotize?  Pffft!  That’s your jam, shawtay!

As a victim of countless crimes against identity, I am setting the record straight.  My name is Kelaine.  Elaine with a K.  Every time you get it wrong, an angel loses her shit.  Because to you maybe it’s just a folly.  But to me, it’s negligent and dismissive.   Let’s tighten it up.

frustrated angel
Look what you did, you little jerk

My name is not Colleen.  I cannot begin to tell you how much I resent being called Colleen.  It might be a perfectly lovely name, but it’s not my name.  In fact, I’ve grown to hate it.   I mean, really.  If your name is Charles and people called you Chadwick, wouldn’t you just clench your jaws so tight that your whole head shook?  Neither syllable is correct!  It’s a complete fabrication.  Sure, it’s someone’s name, but it’s not yours.  So why do idiots insist on calling you Chadwick?

My name is not Kelanie.  And then there’s Kelanie.  Look, I have a friend named Melanie.  She’s smart, she’s talented, she has a terrific attitude, and she’s probably reading this blog entry.  But I’ll bet she’s never been mistakenly called Melaine.  So, I’m not sure why I can’t enjoy the same freedom from name jumbalaya.

My name is also not Kelainie.  For the love of wet-nosed Golden Retriever puppies, who is Kelainie? She sounds like a precocious little twit.  Perhaps the shoe fits, but this name just sounds condescending and babyish.  Also, it’s not my friggin name.  No one calls me Kelainie.  Except that some people do because they think it’s my name.

golden retriever puppy
Love me, love me; Say that you love me

My name is not Keliane.  Ah, Keliane is an interesting issue, which I believe is born from careless typing.  Or perhaps from undiagnosed dyslexia.  Either way, I spent 18 years with a pediatrician who knew my height, weight, and vitals.  But if you asked him how Kelaine was doing, he’d probably just shrug and charge your insurance company.

Oh, it’s the worst!  And I haven’t even started on my last name!  A silent ‘c,’ have you ever heard of such a thing?  It’s almost unfair.  Phonetically, my last name sets you up for failure.

My name is not Cochran.  Go ahead and read it again.  There’s not an ‘r’ in there.  And I know it’s crazy but it’s not pronounced CAHN-ick-on or co-NO-chun.

It’s Conochan.  Monaghan with a C, only spelled with a little more moxie.  I know it’s uncommon.  I know it’s not intuitive.  I can’t change that.  It’s my name.  It’s who I am.  I don’t mean to get all Marlo on you, but seriously y’all “My name is my name.”

If you don’t bother to learn it, well then where do we go from here?  Do you just give up?  Do I just give up?  Am I just supposed to sit there and take it?  Pretend I’m Colleen Cochran and start a fruitful career as a defense attorney?  Maybe I should just can it and name my first born John Smith or Jessica Alba.

No.  No, thank you.  I’ve done my share.  You have some responsibility in this too.  Pay some attention.  Take note.  Practice.  Ask questions.  Your name is important and so is mine.  Now it’s your turn to get it right.


11 thoughts on “Who the Heck is Colleen Cochran?

  1. Rofl! ‘Autumn…Aut-tumm. Still not there yet? Autumn, like the season. (blank stare) Fall-after summer before winter. You know, Autumn!’ Most people just give up and later call me Amber. I hear yah, girlie!! And, I love ur name!!

  2. Mastrantuono sucks pretty bad, but I won’t compare to the difficulties – at least people can get my first name right.

    “Bort?! Who would name their kid Bort?”

  3. I can’t begin to count how many times people call me Janice. For christ’s sake it’s spelled phonetically. Niece with a J-A in front. Wait till I get married and change my last name to Cheap. I’m really in for it then.

  4. My name is Jessica. Easy, right? You’d think. But I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU how often throughout my life I’ve been called Jennifer. Seriously?!

    Then there’s my married last name: Attanasio. It’s actually pretty phoenetic — At-tan-az-ee-o. I get that it’s long and Italian, but I really don’t understand why people feel the need to add extra consonants. Anastasio. Antanasio. Atta–atta-sorry, how do you pronounce your name?

    Also, I’ve always loved your name.

  5. Wow! I searched for my name on Google and found this post. I’m often called Pauline or Carlene, two names I have grown to hate probably as much as you hate Colleen. Oh, and Cochran? People love to rhyme the first syllable with “Scotch.” So I can relate but I must admit, no one has ever called me Kelaine Conochan.

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