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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Introducing Willy And Babs

What makes us English speakers routinely add an "e" sound to the end of so many names? John becomes Johnnie, Ruth becomes Ruthie, Scott becomes Scotty, etc. Why not an "a" sound instead? Jack = Jackay. Or, how about "i"? Kim = Kimeye. "O" or "u", anyone? Jeanoh or Georgeooh have just as nice a ring as Jeannie or Georgie, don't you think?

It's also weird how we often elongate one syllable names but just as regularly shorten those that are two, three, and four syllables. We do this even for names that sound bizarre when shortened like Eileen becoming "I". Worse than that, we truncate an elegant name like Victoria to Vickie. And how does Maureen become Mo? Where did that "O'" come from? How has your name been shortened or elongated? Does it ever annoy you? Don't even get me started on how being called Patty traumatized me in my macho years.

I'm requesting you submit your favorite case study in how this re-naming thing can get really out of hand. I'll start with a respectably named couple, William and Barbara. From there it's a short distance to Bill and Barb. But there are those among us who might go further. Allow me to introduce you to Willy (or Billy) and Babs (or Barbie).   

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