My last name is spelled A-R-O-M-A-N-D-O. It is pronounced like ah-roh-mahn-doh or maybe it’s are-o-mon-doe.*
People have an unbelievably hard time knowing how to spell or pronounce “Aromando” even though, for the most part, it’s pretty phonetic. I don’t really begrudge people for this (too much) because despite the fact that I should have sympathy for people with hard to spell/pronounce names, the fact is that I don’t try any harder with my difficult-name-colleagues than the average person would. I just as much figure that they are as used to correcting people (or biting their tongue) as I am.
With that being said, I’m also not complaining. I appreciate having a memorable name, people have an easier time remembering who I am and a lot of people tell me they like saying my name. Once a person gets my name wrong, it seems like they always put in extra effort to remember it and that’s the game I’m in these days (otherwise, I’m not sure why I write blog posts simply about my name).
The reason I’m writing this is that I was thinking about all the things that inform what a person understands. Things like their religion, where they grew up, what television they watched, how strict their parents were. The infinite number of life experiences that can affect what a person thinks is or isn’t funny, precautions they do or don’t take, fears they do or don’t have, et cetera.
The key phrase there is “infinite number of life experiences.” For me, just having a last name as unloaded as “Aromando” has opened my eyes to a weird phenomenon with people: the inability to comprehend the how the combination of the letters “ar” work. Whenever I have to give my name to be looked up like will call at concert, receptionists at the dentist office, or picking up a pre-ordered video game, I have to spell my last name out after saying it. Inevitably, everyone upon hearing my name will flip to the “R” section of their binders because that’s the sound that comes out of my mouth first. On the surface I can believe that is an honest mistake but once I thought about it, I realized how silly that is. The sound of “r” is always spelled “ar” and most famously in the word “are.” Of course, I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking about all the words with this sound in it and have compiled a list:
I couldn’t think of any instances of words with the “r” sound that didn’t have the help of the letter “a” but I’m open to being proven wrong.**