I had a bit of a run in with one of the BA’s at work today. He had an issue with an e-mail that I sent to an external client that I’m working with – which, for the record, was perfectly acceptable. I, however, have an issue with him being a seagull manager, and my response to his criticism was to tell him that from now on I will cease all correspondance with said client, and exlusively let him deal with them instead.
It would seem as though my e-mail ruffled some feathers, as he promptly came over to confront me about it. What worked me up the most was not his approach to the problem, not the fact that he misinterprets all of my e-mails, and not that he had no grasp on the underlying issues which were making me so frustrated. No, what really gets my goat is that after working “with” me for over six months, he still can’t pronounce my name properly.
Worst of all, he’s not alone; most English (as in “from England”, not “English speaking”) people seem to get it wrong, with very few exceptions. Almost every pom pronounces my name as either “JEH-raared”, or “jeh-RAAR-ed”. Both wrong! (Forgive my attempt at phonetics here!)
So for ther record, here it is: the way I wish people would say my name. I figure there’s two acceptable options:
- Americans/Canadians can say, “JEH-red” as it puts more emphasis on the “R” sound, which is what the yanks tend to do by default. Rest assured Cookes, you’re right on the money.
- All other English speaking countries should say it more like “jeh-red”, with equal empahsis on each syllable. Countries that do not have English as their native tongue should also attempt this pronounciation, as non-English accents are 100% acceptable (in fact, my name sounds best in French or Spanish!).
So is it really that hard? I don’t think so; the folks at the UN, with all the accent variations in the world, did a bang-up job compared to the brits. My only theory is that they think I have the same name as the infamous Steven Gerrard, which I most certainly do not.
Still, it’s all about perspective; old mate BA might pronouce my name incorrectly, but at least he doesn’t call me “Darren” like my yoga teacher does.