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You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number 116, “What’s in My Name?” so let the 300 seconds begin!
It says something that even my name makes my life a little bit trickier than it has to be. Growing up, I went by “Edward” instead of “Eduardo.” If you’re wondering why, let’s just say that in my parent’s time, having a Spanish name wasn’t always an asset. In any event, I went by Edward when I was in grade school and high school and even put it on my first driver’s license. Once I finished high school and started college I stopped going by Edward. My thinking was that Eduardo was the name that my parents gave me and so that was going to be the name I used from there on out. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t get any grief from the folks at the Department of Transportation when I asked to have it changed on my first driver’s license renewal.
I’ve gone by Eduardo ever since then, so family members and people that knew me in my younger years tend to call me Edward, and everybody that has met me since college and beyond will use “Eduardo.” And because people are lazy, lots of people will just shorten it to “Ed.”
And that’s okay. I am perfectly fine with “Ed.” A funny thing happens when I tell people my name; they tend to ask what I want to go by. “Should I call you ‘Eduardo’ or ‘Ed?’” they ask. I usually tell folks that are obviously, shall we say, “ethnically challenged” to use “Ed” because Spanish is sometimes hard. Also, most folks are eventually going to chop it down to “Ed,” anyway. I will sometimes make the mistake giving people a choice, I’ll tell them: “Whichever one is easier for you to pronounce.” That often results in a blank stare. You know that look that your dog gives you when you throw a ball but instead you really kept it in your hand and they figure it out? That’s the kind of look that I get. Just flip a coin or something, people, it’s not that hard. I had one manager who would completely screw it up when he took attendance at our daily meetings. I figured that he was either super-ethnically challenged or he was an idiot. We quickly found out that not only was he an idiot, but he was the living, walking embodiment of the Peter Principle. Look it up.
When I had a job that involved talking on the phones, I quickly learned that using the proper pronunciation of ‘Eduardo’ would end up turning into a way-too-long discussion about my name. If I answered the phone like this: “Thank you for calling, my name is Eduardo, how may I help you?” the customer would usually answer with a question like: “What’s your name? How do you spell that? Can you repeat that?” and my personal favorite: “Are you in the United States?” and so on and so on. I quickly learned that if I wanted to avoid that business, I had to gringo up the pronunciation by saying ‘Ed-whar-doe’ and dying just a little bit on the inside.
The spelling of “Eduardo” is another fun thing that I have to live with. Whenever I’m asked to give my name at a restaurant, I always tell them ‘Edward’ because I don’t feel like teaching the cashier how to spell “Eduardo.” Now, if I don’t give them the spelling of Eduardo and I use it, there’s probably a fifty-fifty chance they’re going to put a w in place of the u. Which is no biggie, I’ve learned to live with it, and it’s actually really close. My all-time favorite spelling goof had to be when the people at the San Japan anime convention substituted a ‘y’ in place of the ‘u’ in their schedule. To this day, “Edyardo” still cracks me up and I do have a few friends who like to rib me about it every so often.
The pronounciation of Eduardo is also a little bit tricky and my Spanish admittedly isn’t the best, I will occasionally trip over the R. I had a co-worker once tell me that ‘the R shouldn’t be rolled because it wasn’t proper Spanish.’ I responded by telling him that it was my name and I was gonna pronounce it however I damn well pleased. I mean come on, we’re all about mangling and messing up languages here in the good ol’ US of A…after all, look at what we did to English!
This has been 300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz, the next episode will be posted after I practice rolling my R’s like Ricardo Montalban. Thank you for listening and visit eduardosoliz.com for more of my wonderfully weird and witty words. Be good, take care, and God Bless.