Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Three Little Syllables
"Do you call her something else for short?"
There is an epidemic of name-shortening that has plagued humanity for a very long time, and to be honest, I don't really get it. Maybe that's because my name is Erin, which doesn't have a shorter nickname attached to it. But since before my daughter's birth that has been the first question.
"Oh that's a pretty name, but what will you call her?"
Is it unthinkable that I say the word Beatrice a hundred times a day? It's only three syllables. No more than Emily or Jonathan. Is it laziness? Can we not be bothered to move our mouths into three distinct shapes to call out the name of a person? Or, does the formality that some perceive make them uncomfortable? I don't know. I call her Beatrice. My mother and many others in my family call her Bea. I don't really mind and I know now that the shortening is inevitable. She can, of course, decide what she likes to be called when she develops a preference. But if I wanted to name her Bea, I would have.