There are very few people who pronounce my name correctly. This fact would be less confusing to me if my name were foreign or exotic or a haphazard mixture of consonants and vowels.
It’s not. It’s Alissa.
Granted, my mom chose to add an extra “s” to my name because she thought one “s” wasn’t as pretty. I agree. She didn’t realize back then though that 60% of people who knew me would mispronounce my “pretty” name.
I used to never correct people (I still dont depending upon the person). There are people who have known me for five or more years and they call me Alyssa. I let them. Alyssa is the most common mispronunciation and sometimes I amuse myself thinking that I have two names. I don’t though. Just one and it’s Alissa.
Growing up, my friends were fierce defenders of my name. They would quickly correct people before I could even open my mouth. I would dismiss the mispronunciation and just say “It’s okay.” My dad heard me say “It’s okay” to someone once and he said to me later that it wasn’t okay and that I should start correcting people. He said, “People should get your name right. Dont let them get it wrong.” Easy for a man named “Joe” to say. Who gets that wrong?
Still, I decided to try this correcting people thing. When someone pronounced my name wrong, though I did it a few times, it always seemed rude to cut in, “uhhh actually, it’s Ah-Lisa.” So, I developed a new tactic. When someone would introduce me and say “This is Alyssa”. I would reach out my hand and say “Hi, I’m Ah-Lisa”. This catches some people who are introducing me off guard, but most of the time they dont even notice (or care) that I corrected them. Of course sometimes I get the surprised, “I’ve been saying your name wrong all of this time!” And then I resort to my dismissal: “It’s okay. Everyone does.” I’m always amazed by the number of people who repeat the wrong pronunciation back to me as if I got it wrong. I’ll say, “Hi! My name is Alissa” and they’ll say “Alyssa, nice to meet you.” O_O.
I don’t allow men I’m dating to pronounce my name wrong. That’s just an epic #FAIL for a boyfriend to call me Alyssa, so I’m not even going to let a guy I’m casually dating get into the habit of saying the wrong name. Plus, I like when guys I’m interested in call me “Lis” (pronounced “Lease”) and a guy will never call me that if he thinks my name is Alyssa. My mom calls me Lease-ee but she is the only one who can call me that. One of my best friends in middle school (who knew my name was “Ah-lisa”) called me “Lissa”. She was my bff though, so it was okay. Other than that, I don’t have a nickname. “Alissa” is it. Or “Lisa” is cool too. Sometimes I joke that “Alyssa” is my nickname because so many people call me that.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m never offended by a mispronunciation. I know that it’s hard with names because you can pretty much spell them any way you want and just hope people will get it right. I think my mom could have spelled my name “Alisa” and people would still call me Alyssa. Oh well.
I love my name and “Alissa Christine” has a nice ring to it (by the way, Christine is my middle name, NOT my last name). According to one baby name book, Alissa means “Triumphant Entry” and Christine means “In Christ” so the two together mean “Triumphant entry in Christ”. I friggin love that.
So anyway, if we ever happen to meet or if you know me already but never say my name right, remember it’s “Ah-LISA”. If you forget, that’s okay. I’ll (discreetly) remind you 🙂