MY NAME IS NOT “NEIL ATTISON.” Neither is it “Neale” or “Niall,” “Addison,” “Atkinson,” “Atchison,” or “Adlington.” (I’m still trying to figure that one out.)
Despite these cognomenly difficulties, I have no desire to change my name to something more convenient. True, I did call myself “Neal Ross” when I was a reporter (and why I publicly go by “Neal Ross Attinson” now), but that was on the advice of my first radio mentor. “Just use your first and middle name,” he said. “Everybody in radio does that. Cuts down on the crazies who will want to call you at home.”
Even then, some people referred to me as “Neil Roth.” You can’t win.
I have learned to be patient with the varied mispronunciations and misspellings. It used to really cheese me when I was younger, but age sometimes has its advantages, one of which is patience. I rarely bother to correct people anymore, unless the mistake will be in print or otherwise permanent; I don’t like to embarrass anyone, and as long as they know who I am I really don’t mind. Much.
After all, I know who I am. And isn’t that the most important thing?