the three ways people often screw up my name

i’ve been avoiding writing this post for a week and i’m not totally sure why. it feels oddly personal even though it doesn’t seem like it should be. anyways, here goes…

so for some reason, there is a subset of people in the world who can’t get my name right. i don’t hold it against 99% of them (there’s one person i know who messes it up on purpose to annoy me. eff that guy).

but there are some strange patterns that keep coming up. the three wrong names below come up surprisingly often. and what’s weirder is that there are very rarely any strays outside of these three. hm!

lawrence barriner iii & lqb3

i’d say, on average, every 1-2 weeks someone thinks i’m the third. i can’t really understand why. is it because people don’t actually pay attention when they see lawrence barriner ii in my email signature?

and the whole reason i picked lqb2 as a social media handle was because i thought it was close to r2d2. and i assumed that would be easy to remember.

lawrence barringer

how people come up with this one i have no idea. the crazy part is i haven’t met anyone with the actual last name barringer. T_T


now, this one i can understand. there are already two e’s and sometimes the way i pronounce it does sound like there could be an ‘e’ after the ‘w’. this one gets pass, though i do have 3 or 4 friends who repeatedly do this, even though i’ve mentioned it several times.


i think the reason i pushed this post away for so long was my dad’s name politics when i was growing up. people often wanted to call me larry in elementary school. my dad was vehemently against it. he was like “we named you lawrence so people could call you lawrence, not make up whatever other they like and call you that.” which… ok, i can understand. but it’s not any name they’re making up; it’s a name that’s very similar to my name. and, to some folks, giving people they know and love nicknames is a sign of endearment.

i also think there was an element to my dad’s resistance of nicknaming that was rooted in the history of slavery and names. it was a pretty common thing for white people and slave owners to refuse to address black people by their actual names. john, boy, things along those lines. i think my dad was pushing back on that history (since i went to a mostly white elementary school).

anyways, that’s that for now.

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