It's All in a NameAnother random fact I shared in my "16 random facts" blog, dealt with the issue of my last name. I have one of those last names that is incredibly easy to say, yet people are constantly misspelling it when they send me mail. I couldn't tell how many times I have talked to a person and given them my email address at work, emphasized the "A" and received a call back.
They will say something along the lines of, "I must have entered your email wrong. My message keeps getting kicked back."
"Did you remember the "A" in my name? It's w-p-e-A-r-c-h."
When I met Susan, she commented that she is the descendant of simple last names. I was not so fortunate.
When people see or hear my last name, they assume that I am English. Nope, just English-speaking. I am only the second generation of my family born with that surname. Obviously, my father was the first.
My grandfather was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba with the last name of Pewarchuk. During the late 1920s, he had his sites fixed upon moving to Chicago. Not sure what his goal was: employment, college, or the lure of the Cubs and White Sox baseball. More than likely it was not the latter. Regardless, when he entered the United States, he decided to Americanize his name and abandon some consonants and a vowel. Over time, he eventually met my grandmother. She certainly contributed her portion to this alphabet soup with a last name of Kuzminchuk.
Just to be fair, my mother's side is equally guilty. My Mom's first job out of college of was teaching at the new junior high near her childhood home. Her students lovingly called her Ms. J. There was a good reason for that. Her last name was Jasczcysyn. Let me be clear, there was only one vowel in there. Maybe this is a "and sometimes 'y'" type of name. Perhaps my grandfather decided he didn't need to Americanize his name since he grew up in Niles, Illinois. Eventually he met my grandmother who offered the most simple name to the mix, McTigue.
In the grand scheme of things, I guess I am fortunate that people simply forget the "A" in my name. If email existed during the late 1960s, I couldn't imagine my Mom trying to give someone her email address: m-j-a-s-c-z-c-y-s-y-n.