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Re-Porter - Wrong name
bethany porter

As someone who has had people call me the wrong name for most of my life, I hate when I get people’s names wrong. Working at a newspaper in the midst of varying degrees of country accents, mumblers, crazy spellings and other factors, getting some names wrong is inevitable unfortunately. 

I am always having to ask people their names and write them down. When someone hits me with a very difficult name, I usually don’t even attempt it and have them write it down for me or spell it. Recently I took a picture of a boy having a lemonade stand and when I asked his name I heard “Ben.” 

Easy enough, right? Ben. B-E-N. Unfortunately, his name was not Ben. It was Boone. Front page of the paper and I had his name wrong. I felt so bad once I learned his name was not Ben.

I have had my picture in the paper many times years ago when I played sports and the cutline would often read “Brittany Porter.” No offense to the sports guy at the time, but come on. I have already complained about being called Brittany before, so everyone knows I am sensitive and try to be careful when it comes to names. 

My biggest name nightmare came in the form of awards day. This was my first time covering awards day, and not to brag, but I used to be in these pictures when I was in school so I thought I knew what I was walking into. My first awards day I covered was at Dibrell and the kids who won awards were given papers with their names on it. Great! I took humongous group picture of 60 plus kids and then went through and took a video of their names on the paper from left to right. Genius. Awards day pictures seemed like they were going to be a breeze. I was wrong. 

I then went to get a picture of the kids at a school whose awards day we missed. I went on a random day and the kids did not have their papers with their names on it. I had to take three group photos of multiple kids and then go through and write down all of their names. One group was so big I had to just pass around a clip board and hope they didn’t write anything childish or obscene as their name. It was horrible. The kids were ready to go, it took forever, and I was frantically trying to get all of their names. I did, but it was hard. 

Doing these awards days also made me realize I got a kid’s name wrong at a school event when I assumed I knew how to spell “Natalie.” It was actually spelled “Nataleigh.” Who knew?

Names are important. I get a lot of grief when I get annoyed by being called the wrong name, but it is just that: the wrong name. I am sorry to Boone for getting his name wrong. I heard Ben and didn’t think I needed to spell check such an easy name. Lesson learned. 

From now on I will be asking how to spell everyone’s name no matter how simple it may sound. I am sure there is someone out there whose name is “Jawhn” instead of the traditional “John” and I will be sure to get it correct. 

Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at 473-2191.