My full name is Roshni. It is six letters long and pronounced Rosh-nee. Today was the first time in living memory that a non-Indian person spelt my name right without me having to spell it for them. Turns out the now author Louis de Bernieres was a former school teacher in a very diverse part of London so he’d probably taught someone with my name. This is because my name is a very common easy name, one without any hidden characters of silent letters. And yet, the fact that one person spelt it right without me having to tell them how to spell it is worthy of a whole post on my blog.
There are two reason’s why I go by Rosh on this blog and all my social media sites:
- I like it as a nickname
- It is easier to get right
I include number 2 but the amount of people who have called me ‘Roosh’ is extraordinary. I never thought I would be one of those people who would change their name to make it easier for other people to pronounce, but here we are and I have done just that. I have shortened an already short name even more. I was sick and tired of seeing my name spelt ‘Roshini’*, Roshney, Rooshney, Roshani, and the mind-boggling Roshiney. The last one can actually be read ro-shiney.
At work I am always Roshni – without fail. I don’t mind using a nickname in the more fun aspects of my life but at work everyone gets the full six letters. When I send emails with the correct spelling of my name and receive a strange permeation in response I always dither in indecision – should I correct the person or should I assume it was a mistake? before I would let it go. Now I don’t – I email back. ‘It’s my name, it’s important to me, and you need to get it right’ is what I say to them in a friendly manner with the obligatory exclamation mark – haha, no you aren’t an idiot and yes, you can read! Of course I’m not pissed off.
I am so proud of my name – I am proud of how my parents picked and the rich heritage and history it has. My name is now predominantly used in India but it originated in the Middle East, and even now it is used as an adjective. My name means ‘light’ and you can actually use it in a sentence. I find this so cool and so when I see it being butchered I sigh, cry, and die a little inside. If people find my name hard just how badly are the names Anokhi and Jyoti?
Names are important, they are full of identity and history and meaning. It’s equally important to get them right.
*this is an actual legitimate spelling of my name but it isn’t how I spell my name. one girl in school insisted on giving me an extra i because that was how her cousin spelt it. I don’t care about your cousin.