Hello, my name is not Juan
The blogsphere collective consciousness is connected somehow, I have been thinking about the topic of names and psychology and I read two posts related to it almost back to back. One about how Becky got a chuckle after a dog naming choice and Will talking about the pronunciation of Sotomayor.
One of my grandparents abhorred nicknames, he felt that you gave a child a name so it would be used. That side of the family really gave neither my sister or I any nicknames. The other side of my family had nicknames for pretty much everyone, and they are ever changing. Its kind of weird sometimes because even though most of my sense of humor comes from one side of the family, you can guess which one, I have always felt like I belonged more with the other.
During my school years back in Colombia I had one nickname, that was “Gato” which means cat and it was given to me because of my eyes. They are a very unusual color and are an interesting combination of my Mother’s color and one of my Aunt’s. During college and thanks to being the third John to go into “the apartment” I got the nick name “Paco” but I only like it when people from that time period use it. People from the online world know me a Logtar, well some anyway, most people start calling me John after they get to know me since my online moniker is really not part of my personality in any way. Logtar is the first nickname I have ever chosen, but it is purely an online handle that is both short and available as a user name in most sites. I was actually very excited when I found out that I was “Chicago John” in the DeGuia household.
I love my name, including my middle name which is actually my Dad’s first name. My family has a tradition that all the males in the family inherit the first name of their father’s as a middle name. While I don’t mind Johnny or Johnathan here and there, I really like it when people use my name. My friend Brit always cracks me up when she says my full name including the middle one.
I never had a problem with the name Juan. One of my cousin’s that lived with us for a period of times is name Juan Carlos and he is pretty much an older brother to me. When I moved to the U.S. people started to try to call me Juan because they assumed I “translated” my name when I arrived.
The first one to challenge on this was my Spanish teacher in High School. I have a lot of respect for good teachers, but have also had my encounters escalate with some of the bad ones. Dr. Perez was someone that insisted on calling me Juan. For a PhD he is very ignorant when it came to many things. I finally won my battle the day I had to proved him wrong when he was making up a word in Spanish and had to come back the next day after looking it up in the ultimate dictionary from Spain he had at home and apologize for calling me a liar.
Ever since I dislike people that try to translate my name to Spanish when my parents chose to call me John. I guess I will never understand the need for Spanish teachers to use “translating” someone’s name as a teaching tool.
So what about you? Do you like your name? Do you like your nickname? Did you chose your own nickname?