Marla Sarris Malibu Beach California-2
Marla Sarris

What’s in a Name?

Why would I throw a capital I in the middle of a word where all other letters are lower case and the first letter is capitalized for a name? I wouldn’t! Would you? Apparently many people see my name and make this assumption.

How can you glance at a list of names and spell it wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME?

Growing up while I was in elementary school one would think I had a twin sister named Maria for all the duplicate certificates I was given every year.

I’m gonna start signing my name in emails and writing below it NO! MY NAME IS NOT Maria! Maybe people will notice the difference when the two names are only one line apart.

Put on your damn glasses and look. I’m sure you learned in kindergarten or first grade your numbers & letters, there is a clear difference between an L/l and an I/i! See that little dot at the top? Yeah there it is, if not, make your font larger.

Don’t take this wrong if your name is Maria, it’s a nice name, not for me though – it’s just not MY name.

Join our
Paleo Community

It got so bad going through school that when there was a new song out, like My Maria by Brooks & Dunn or the name Maria was mentioned in any song, my grandparents would use it to their advantage to call me by my “other name”.

I can’t tell you how pissed off I get when I see an email sent back to me with my name spelled wrong. If you’re responding back to an email I sent you, my name is in almost every email address I own, I would have signed my name at the bottom of the email I sent, and all would have been spelled correctly. None of which would be spelled by throwing a capital i in the mix of all lower case letters. It’s one of the reasons my twitter handle is spelled in all caps for my first name and all lower case letters my last. I want people to see the correct spelling, but I’m not going to yell my name at the end of an email and sign in all caps. I kind of leave it up to the person on the receiving end to take the time and be aware of the email they’re getting and pay attention to detail.

Next time you’re taking time out of your day to write an email to someone or even just speaking to someone in person and trying to get their name in there, don’t glance over the letters like they don’t mean something, that’s a person’s name. Part of everyone’s identity is their name. Either don’t include the persons name in the message, don’t say their name outloud, or make it a point to try and get it right the first time.

And just so you know, my name is not MARIA it’s MARLA.


  1. My name’s been misspelled ever since I can remember; most people leave out the second ‘a’, even though, like you, I SPELL IT CORRECTLY MYSELF.

    I promise to always spell your name right. :D

  2. Its just as bad as unwanted nicknames like Nikki UGH! Or putting an H in Nicole so disturbing … love the rant/article Marla!

  3. Oh…don’t get me started. OK, I’m started…it all started back in kindergarten when my teacher kept crossing out the accent aigu over the second ‘e’ in my name (the one after the ‘n’). I cried, told on her to my mom, and went back with a note saying my name was French, so leave the damn accent alone! THEN a whole adult life of telemarketers asking for “Ms. Lotta-loopy.” Lotta-loopy? Seriously? Do they not teach phonics anymore?

    AND, like you, I’m pretty sure I spell my name correctly when I sign my e-mails…and yet, I’m always getting “Dear Renne” letters. Sigh.

    I love living in Europe, because guess what? EVERYONE pronounces my name correctly! Never thought I’d see the day…

    Rachael, Marla…I bid you adieu.
    Renne Lotta-loopy, Esq.

  4. Corrine Natarelli says:

    I’ve given up anyone saying or spelling my name correctly. When you get saddled with a weird first name like Corrine you’re just screwed. What kills me is that people seem totally baffled by how to pronounce Natarelli. I was psyched when I got married to get rid of Moulos which is pronounced nothing like it’s spelled, but I had no idea that Natarelli (spelled phonetically!) would intimidate people as much as it does. We get Na-TAR-le all the time. C’mon people! Have you never seen an Italian last name before??

  5. Hey Marla, just reading thru some of your posts now! At work, the ‘big boss’ ALWAYS spells my name wrong, and it’s ALWAYS right after I have just sent HER an email! She will always respond to me with Hello Kristie! I mean seriously, I JUST wrote you, not to mention YOU hired me! And don’t even get me started with Langstraat-Bolte! LOL!

  6. I have a theory that people with unusual names (and I actually wouldn’t consider Marla to be all that unusual, but it sounds like it is, for a lot of people!) are a lot more personally invested in their own names. It’s kind of fun to have an instant conversation starter, though. My name was half-normal until I got married, and now people regularly assume that either this is a pseudonym or I am a superhero. If only.

  7. Marliese says:

    I feel your pain!
    Try having teachers call you Melissa or Mare ah lees..
    [it's Mar lee sah or Mar lisa]…. i get it, it’s foreign. I am an all american gal.. i get it..
    my shortened/nickname is Liese [how i use it now] but in school i spelled it Lisa, so they’d get a clue.

    In high school, there was a girl named Analiese, i had always wanted to meet her to compare notes…lol never did..

    I had always wanted to be a Megan…lol
    though with age comes wisdom and i like my name…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>