One L. ONE. JUST ONE L.

I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of smal things. I can become emotionaly irrational almost immediately, but I don’t get pissy about smal things. Sure, I like to make things up like the time I thought the secret service was breaking into our apartment at night to read our email because one day a chair was moved and neither one of us remember doing it. But I don’t get upset about smal things. I am not upset that our car has no air conditioning or that the NYPD is randomly searching bags. I don’t get upset when hipster girls suggest they escort my husband and me home at night. But by God, am I ever sick of seeing my name speled with two l’s. My name is Michele. M I C H E L E. It’s not MICHELLE. It never will be MICHELLE. I never was MICHELLE. I accepted the fact that finding an airbrushed license plate with my name would never happen. I have realized that no one wil ever find a key chain with my name on it unless it’s printed specialy for me. I will never find a unicorn covered doormat that reads “MICHELE’S ROOM, DO NOT ENTER.” It just won’t happen. And I’m OK with that.

My name is speled with one l. Just one. I took the other one and shoved it straight up the ass of all those who lack the attention.

I’m not sure why this bothers me so much. (Not that it wil tomorrow.)

62 Comments

  1. I’m exactly the same way—it’s Sharlene (shh-arlene) not Charlene (ch-arlene). Also, my last name is ALWAYS spelled wrong. The icing on the cake came when I worked for years to win a “synchonized swimmer of the year” award and when I finally did both my first and last name were spelled wrong on the plaque.

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  2. I’m sorry, but synchronized swimmer of the year?! THAT IS FREAKING AMAZING!

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  3. I have spent my entire life spelling out my name for people. My maiden name was Welsh. You know, W-E-L-S-H. Not “W-E-L-C-H, just like the jelly” Okay, then I just kind of got used to it. But when I got married the last name changed to what I thought was an easy one. I thought I would not have to spell my last name ever again. No such luck. Every time I do anything involving my name it is always, Hooper – H-O-O-P-E-R. Not Cooper, not Hopper not anything but Hooper. And don’t even get me started on the first name. The fact that people mess it up even though it is the standard spelling of a fairly common name is beyond me. I have finally given up and accepted that people is just dumb.

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  4. Oh, yes. My last name is constantly messed up. Holly. I get that all the time. And then there are the individuals who fancy themselves clever when they think they’re the first person to say “Did you know your name is the derogatory term for a white person in hawaii?” I can’t wait to change my name to Boudreaux.

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  5. “Excuse me, ma’am, I don’t know what they do in France, but we don’t allow no French whores to patronize this establishment.”

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  6. Michele Boudreax French whore extraordinaire.

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  7. I bet , at the least , your parents always spelled your name right.

    Some of us aren’t that lucky

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  8. if i took the name of my significant other, we could start our own burlesque show.

    Except I’m not asian, which would be a dissapointment for many.

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  9. Nico, that just made me laugh out loud.

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  10. You know what irks me? When people like you and Jaysen and Genifur get mad that everyone else spells their name correctly.

    You made a good point in your piece. All those words that should be spelled with two ls are misspelled using only one. Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but your name is among them.

    The only person you have to be mad at is the person(s) that misread the baby naming book or wanted to give a new spin on an old classic and then named you.

    You have a few options; you can correct your name legally, use your middle name, or accept the fact that your name is misspelled and chances are that, for the rest of your life, people will be spelling it correctly.

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  11. Glenduh, you’re way off, baby. But you might just make it on the list below.

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  12. ONE of the reasons I did not change my name fater getting married: Sian Nguyen.

    Nuff said.

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  13. Also,
    I have another friend who spells her name like yours. I think the second L is needless.

    Also, I meant after, not fater!

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  14. Glenda – In an effort to let you not contradict yourself by referring to universally correct spellings of names while pointing to no universally accepted reference(s), I’d like to ask which baby naming book it is that has not only been canonized and accepted as divine fact but which lists only one spelling per phonetic name.

    Don’t let yourself slip into a delusion of subjective objectivity. Back yourself up!

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  15. The name is French and is correctly spelled “-elle”.

    Seems like you both need some support:
    http://www.grownmencry.com/mijo/Mdsn.html

    Even they can admit itâ

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  16. Um, excuse me Glenda, but if the name on the Birth Certificate is M-I-C-H-E-L-E, then I believe that makes it the “right” spelling. Anyone who contradicts that spelling from there on in has committed the “misspelling”, French or not.

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  17. The mihow army is upon me. Must retreat!

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  18. I have an army? Killer.

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  19. In all honesty, I could care less usually. Today is just a bad day. But I have to say, I am often asked, while giving out information over the phone, “Is that spelled with one L or Two?” So I gather it’s a common enough name and therefore mistake.

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  20. It’s a grumpy day for me too. I hope your day improves – mine did when you put me on your list of things that bug you. Seriously, thanks.

    Your army is large in number, but everyone could use some bulking up. Killer, indeed.

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  21. Glenda – the backbone of your idea that names come from some universal and finite pool is, as I feared, entirely crushed by your lack of references.

    If there is a single proper spelling of every phonetic name, show me the list. If you’re unable to do that (and to prove it was written by God), your argument is bullshit.

    I wouldn’t bet on ya right now.

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  22. Regardless of whether or not it’s the right way or wrong way to spell Michele, the annoying part is – what set me off today – no matter how many emails I send to people that clearly show my albeit misspelled name, they write back using Michelle. I wouldn’t expect people to KNOW right off that my name has one L. But once they see it, I’d like them to pay some mind.
    Fuck the French, anyway.

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  23. I try to always spell people’s names correctly, because people get my name wrong all the time. My real name is Robyn with a Y. Not an I. I am not a bird, it is not the traditional spelling. Usually I don’t care, but when I send an email to someone with my name ALL over it, and they STILL send it back with “Thanks RobIn” it just irritates me. I mean, I take the time to get their stupid name right, :) why can’t they take 2 seconds to get mine right?

    I feel your pain, MicheLe. :)

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  24. So which of the following spellings are considered “proper” Cathy or Kathy? John or Jon? Steven or Stephen? Sherry or Sherri? Geoff or Jeff? Sean or Sian?

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  25. ohhhh man! cry me a river!

    please! how about being saddled with “Joao Malhinha” as your name? Never mind that over 3/4 of people can’t get the first name right (know how many times someone’s called my “joe”?), but no-one, I mean no-one (outside of my people of common descent which are few and very far between) can get the last name.

    at least with most names, you can phonetlically figure it out. but mine always throws everyone for a loop.

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  26. my father would either spell my name Johnathan or Jonhathan, neither of which are on my birth certificate. but he was always drunk.

    it would suck to have a name like “Joao Malhinha”, for the sole fact that most people would think you come from a line of filthy portuguese immigrants

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  27. Sir Kerned John, for fear of sounding totally ignorant, how do you pronounce that?

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  28. Oh, Toby Joe. Do you really believe that the proper spelling is not MichELLE? I refuse to believe that you do. I didn’t say that EVERY single name had a proper spelling but the traditional, English spelling of Michelle is just that.

    Many people choose to make ordinary names “original” by changing the spelling of them (which CAN BE considered misspelling them). My opinion is that they should do their children a favor and choose a name that is genuinely original instead of choosing to misspell.

    That way, every time they’re giving their name they don’t have to say “Michele with one L” or “Jazzmin with two Zs”.

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  29. If you want to talk about proper spellings, well it would be hard to aruge that Michele is Michele spelled properly and Michelle is Michelle spelled properly.

    They’re both accepted , valid, and widely used spellings. Don’t take my word for it, ask uncle Google:

    Results 1 – 10 of about 20,800,000 for michelle.
    Results 1 – 10 of about 11,800,000 for michele.

    Just because something is popular doesn’t mean its right.

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  30. “Just because something is popular doesn’t mean its right.”

    Exactly my point. Just like spelling fone and nite are popular but not correct.

    If I was talking to you and told you my name was Robbert, would you ask me how that was spelled? No. If my parents called me “Robbert”, then I would have to tell you how to spell it because Robbert is not how you spell Robbert.

    If we’re all being super liberal about the way words are properly spelled, then wai naut jist rite evreething hauw whee wahnt?

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  31. People should name their kids whatever they damn well please. they don’t need any favors.

    I spell and re-pronounce my name ten times a day. And it is the “traditonal” spelling – whatever that is. Better that than being one of a million Jennifers or Susans.

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  32. I think it would be interesting for mihow to ask her parents about her name. Did they name her Michele with one L because they liked the way it looked? Maybe they thought that was how you spelled it? Or did they want to give the name a new twist? Or is it a name passed on through the family?

    None of this was meant to be personal. Just a debate on naming is all. Probably because I hate the name Glenda so much and I’m eternally bitter for not getting a cool name like Maxxeene.

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  33. Almost my entire family reads this site. So maybe they will answer. They thought it was spelled that way. I was almost named Samantha. But that didn’t happen because my father was worried that if I turned out to be ugly, the name calling would kill me. (Sam, for an ugly girl.) His most favorite thing to say after this is “It’s a good thing we didn’t name you Samantha.”
    My parents didn’t “misspell” my name to be groovy. I can assure you of that.

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  34. Glynda,
    All names were just made up at some point. right?

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  35. sian has a great, misspelled name. She’s cute, too.

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  36. You can put an accent grave over the first e and it will be a true French name – without the second L.

    Please don’t fuck the French – that’s so pedestrian.

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  37. Sian, all words were made up at some point. So should we all start spelling everything however we want?

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  38. I have a cousin who lives in Kentucky named Glenda. Is that you cousin Glenda?

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  39. You misspelled Jerry, Kentucky boy.

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  40. While I hate to perpetuate this silliness even more:

    1. Lingusitics 101: Language Evolves

    2. Names are proper nouns, not common nouns. A proper noun only refers only to a single item or person. There may be accepted ways of spelling a name, but if that name refers to a single person, like our friend Michele, it cannot technically be incorrect. The spelling of proper nouns is not the same as other parts of speech.

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  41. I DO think it is a little silly to impose that kind of structure on the spelling of personal names. Should people also not make up new names? I mean, we don’t all know the “correct” spelling of brand new names so maybe we should restrict people to the names already in existence. At that, we would need to start cataloging them and sorting out the ones with incorrect spellings. Wow, that is gonna(going to) take a lot of time. We will need a lot of experts. a person from every religon, every country. You should get crakin’ OOPs cracking.

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  42. *pulls out the Hitler card

    You know… Nazi’s once imposed arbitrary rules on people.

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  43. people usually spell my name right. but they always pronounce it weird, and seems to be regional. out here, everyone says “on-drea”, back home in the midwest, it was always “an-drea”—which i prefer. but i’m just happy when anyone even responds to me.

    “andy”, however, i have serious issues with.

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  44. i’m gisele with one L. the L thing bugs me, too. yes, the ballet has two L’s. but the supermodel has just one. so which is right? the BEST part is when i give my name at a cafe, spell it out, and see them write it with a J. i’ve been jesele many a time on a coffee cup. i’ve gotten used to the whole gisele/giselle thing but seriously, when you work with people for over a year you’d think they would get it right. they do about half the time, maybe. oh, and in france, i found a bracelet that said “Gisele” on it, so there.

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  45. gisele, I have to admit, I, too, have found a few things over the years sporting “Michele”.

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  46. I’m going to go to bed tonight sulking that not one person agreed with any point I was trying to make. But I’m glad to see that, from the get-go, Sian noticed that my plan was to start imposing laws about what names people are allowed to use. Kind of like the German’s do today: â

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  47. Well.
    Glenda is quite the smarty pants! Very naughty.

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  48. The Gospel According to Glenda.
    So naming a child Naked Boy Scout probably wouldn’t fly in Germany.

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  49. my first name, Joao, is pretty hard to phonetically lay out, kind of like “szh-wow” but not really. you need to get a good amount of bass in the wow, like a gregorian chant of some sort. I don’t even bother trying to correct people. it’s painful.

    malhinha, for the american pronunciation, it’s “muh lee nuh”. the correct portuguese way is more like “meh lee nia” with a little roll on the ‘n’

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  50. for the record, i’m allowed to make jokes about filthy portuguese immigrants because my mother is one

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  51. I have a very boring white bread name. People don’t mess it up, ever. Now I am sad.

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  52. I used to get mad when I was a kid and people would spell my name with a “y”…now I could really care less. The worst is that my last name is Gibbons and people call my husband and I “Gibson”. It’s weird…do they read it at all? However it bothers my husband more than me and I think it’s because of the i-y stuff I’ve dealt with and gotten over already.

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  53. btw, my middle name is michelle—2 l’s.

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  54. This has got to be one of my worst pet peeves….especially when people spell something wrong that is directly in front of them.

    Every once in a while I’ll meet someone who will, when writing down my name, automatically say “robyn with a y, right?” or just spell it right automatically, instead of writing it robin and forcing me to correct them. Those people are heaven.

    Now if only I could get them to spell my last name correctly, I’d be laughing…

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  55. everyone is such a unique snowflake.

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  56. Holy… 55 comments—it took a while to catch up on this one. I forgot to mention that it was for the province of Nova Scotia. Still, you get all dressed up, go to a fancy meal, drink some wine, sit through a long and boring presentation… and in the end find out that your name is spelled wrong on something your supposed to keep forever.

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  57. Just wait until Christmas and people will get it right. Noel.

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  58. mehou:

    wunce upon a tym, I had a commenter hoo wood drive me knuts becuz I speled a wurd or too rong.

    I say we shood abolish the nede to spel kerrectly altoogedder! Hoo’s whith Me? Bad spelers of the wurld unite!

    Am I off topic? I don’t know. I’ll crawl back in my cave now.

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  59. tsk tsk tsk jonathan, shame on you. your poor mother…

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  60. It’s funny you should mention this…it is the first thing I ask a fellow Michelle…one L or two L’s?? I always liked the one-L way…I think Michele looks prettier. It isn’t so jumbled looking with a random extra letter in it. I have no clue what stores you go to, but we need to switch our stores…I can only ever find “Michele” products…I rarely find “Michelle”. I suddenly want that unicorn mat…I love unicorns…sorry, started dazing off…so where can you get one of them??

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  61. WTF? Did someone comment on your blog just to tell you that your name is “misspelled?”

    Reply

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