“Please don’t call me that” is not the same as PC or censorship

Imagine you’re at a nice social event: drinks are passed around, you’re amidst friends and new, amicable strangers. Your friend introduces you to one of her friends. Imagine, like me, you have a very uncommon name for those here. You introduce yourself.

I can replay this scenario, because it’s happened to me 3,456 times.



A blank stare. “Ah, well it’s nice to meet you.” (Worse when it’s on the phone because you receive nothing but silence.)

“So Toreek…”

“-It’s Tauriq, actually… No stress on either syllable. Tar as in road. Rick as in short of Richard. Rhymes with ‘stick’.”

Now, most people get it here or eventually come to pronounce it properly, after they’re surrounded by those that can (I have smart friends who, when realising their friends are not getting the pronunciation, say my full name instead of pronouns and say it loudly). This is typical.

However, imagine someone said: “No, I prefer to say Toreek. It’s easier for me.”

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