DEAR MISS MANNERS: My first name has two common spellings with a variation of just one letter (think “Meghan” vs. “Megan”). I started a new job two years ago, and my co-workers only use the correct spelling about half the time.
If these were new acquaintances or people I see rarely, it wouldn’t bother me, as both spellings are common, and my name is pronounced the same either way. But these are people I see every day, and who see my name written correctly every day (we do a lot of email). My patience is starting to run thin because it grates on me every time they get it wrong.
As strange as it sounds, the extra letter means a lot to me. When the other spelling is used, I get the strange feeling that someone else is being addressed. It’s not “me.”
Since this is likely to seem insignificant to others, is there a way I can address it without seeming petty? Is there any wording you can recommend to ask people to spell my name correctly? Or should I just try to let it go?
GENTLE READER: The right combination of tact, humility and helpful mnemonics is essential here -- both for making your point and for having it stick. Miss Manners suggests a memo to the company with something like, “I know that there has been some confusion about the proper spelling of my name, so I wanted to let everyone know that it is, in fact, Meghan, like the duchess. I will update the database.”
And then, perhaps, invest in a name plaque for your desk so that passersby can surreptitiously check when they inevitably forget.