What did you say your name was again?

March 4th was National Grammar Day. This of course should be a day hailed by all the members of my family, replete with a parade by the Apostrophe Police force which my brother-in-law, Scott heads up. Instead it just sort of slid by, but not beyond my notice.

In addition to bad grammar and punctuation being noted offenses in my circles (I find my self way to liberal with comma usage), my one major pet peeve is the spelling of my name.

Rare and exotic was the name Erika (at least in California in the 60s) before the soap opera All My Children introduced America to that villainous vixen sharing my name back on January 5, 1970. I was home sick that day and was surprised as hell to hear my name on TV! (The only other time that happened was when I missed a class field trip to a taping of Romper Room and Miss Nancy saw me in her magic mirror ~ oh the thrill!!). Regardless of her innate evilness, the name took hold and the name Erika/Ericka/Erica has now become somewhat ubiquitous throughout the US.

My father, Erik, came to the US from Sweden back in the early 50’s (correct me if I’m wrong please, Mom). I’ve always liked the Scandinavian use of a K rather than a C for the hard sound, I think it appears more interesting and well, elegant. I have a cousin named Karl, an uncle named Kurt, my father and my nephew Erik, my name Erika, another cousin Ulrika…we’re rich in K’s on the Swedish side of the family.

Erica, with a C, is a lovely plant consisting of over 860 varieties in the heather family. It is found throughout South Africa, parts of Europe and the Mediterranean. Ericka, with a CK, I just don’t get all.

The funny thing I find is this; if an email or FB post or letter is sent and signed with your name, how is it that the responder can spell it wrong in the very next line? I know this holds true for Anna/Ana; Diane/Dianne; Glen/Glenn; Chris/Kris; Rebecca/Rebekkah and so forth.

I think our name and our birthday are held close to our hearts as a little bit of personal flag flying ~ “Hey! Look at me! I exist and I’m pretty cool!”. As our world gets so much bigger as it also contracts, I think it is important for all of us (I’m just as guilty!) to take an extra 5 seconds to double check the spelling of one another’s names, as a small token of validation in this big, wide, world.

One thought on “What did you say your name was again?

  1. Erika… I want your brother to deputize me to carry on his good work in the Apostrophe Police. But, you should know, you used “to” when you should have used “too” in the second paragraph, where, ironically, you are going off on bad punctuation and grammar. Alas, it’s okay, we all do it sometimes. I spelled “separate” as “seperate” all through college and no one ever pointed it out to me. (And this was certainly pre-spell check…)

    Love you and wish you the best!
    – Marsh

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