DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have been married for seven years; he is from a rural, white, homogenous community, and my family are immigrants from Southeast Asia. I’m struggling with an issue with my in-laws: They still, after all these years, claim they cannot remember or pronounce the names of my family members. Every visit is peppered with, “What’s your sister’s name again?” “Help me with your dad’s name?”
This is exhausting. I already allow them to call me by a shortened, anglicized version of my name for their convenience, and I fear losing my temper the next time they need help with a name in my small immediate family.
GENTLE READER: Send them a primer. Before the next visit, Miss Manners suggests that you type out the names, as well as phonetic pronunciations, of your family members.
That way, the next time they ask, you may good-naturedly tell them, “Now, Karleeygh, you know we went over this. I sent you all of the names before, remember? It would mean so much to us if you pronounced them correctly. They’ve worked so hard on learning to pronounce yours.”