What’s the difference between John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, and Ethan Charles Blocher-Smith?
Answer: Blocher-Smith’s name hasn’t been put to music. Yet.
Blocher-Smith [Block-er-Smith], a junior at HU, has a name that is habitually mispronounced.
Blocher-Smith’s last name is the combined last names of his mother (Blocher) and father (Smith).
“There was another David and Carolyn Smith that had a tendency to write bad checks,” said Blocher-Smith. “It is hard to prove you are not that David and Carolyn Smith.”
They decided it would be best to switch their last name to both the father and mother’s last name. Ethan and his mother took the name Blocher-Smith, but his father stayed with Smith because that is the name on medical records.
Whether we like our last names or not, we are stuck with them. Many students find they regularly need to correct friends and professors here on campus.
When looking at Brooke’s last name, you would never guess that it is actually pronounced “Taily.”
Thoele said that people mispronounce her name all the time, especially when they have never heard of it or don’t know of anyone with that last name.
Thoele said she finds it easier to just spell her out her last name to people who don’t know it.
“Oh, I always correct people,” Thoele said. “I find enjoyment in telling people about it.”
After coming to HU, Thoele realized how many people do not know her name and find it very interesting.
“In grade school, junior high and high school, it wasn’t that bad cause in high school everyone knew how to say it,” Thoele said. “There was not any other Thoele’s that came here, so people don’t know it here.”
Another student at Huntington University, Becky Tietz, also has a last name that is frequently mispronounced.
“I actually have fun with it because people come up with pretty good pronunciation of what my last name sounds like,” Tietz said.
When your name gets mispronounced all the time you get use to it, or it could make you angry.
“It depends who is doing it and if they are doing it on purpose. If I know them and they are my friend, its not a big deal,” said Tietz. “But if they are not my friend and they are trying to make fun of me, I lay the smack down.”
Tietz nominated her dad for father of the year during parents weekend here at Huntington, and he was a finalist.
“The guy in charge had to email me and ask me how to pronounce my last name because he didn’t want to embarrass our family, and I had to tell him it rhymed with sheets.”
Sam Schoutko’s last name is often mispronounced as well. The origin of it is actually Ukrainian.
“My grandpa was getting his U.S. Visa or something to come into the U.S.-it was actually a lot longer, but they shortened it up cause they didn’t want to use a long name,” Schoutko said. “So they shortened it to something that is still unpronounceable, but it used to be a lot worse.”
Schoutko corrects people in their mispronunciation if it is people he knows or if he is going to have a future friendship with. But if it is telemarketers or people like that, he doesn’t usually correct them–unless he wants to make them feel bad.
Unlike Schoutko, Pete Molinero, another student at Huntington University, said that he doesn’t correct people when they mispronounce his name.
“I just don’t care enough. I figure they will probably get embarrassed or something, so I just don’t care,” Molinero said.
Kevin Keske said that over half the people he meets gets his last name wrong. He has gotten so use to it that it doesn’t really annoy him anymore.
“It doesn’t really bother me, unless they know what it is and say it wrong anyway,” Keske said. “Like if they know they are getting it wrong, it depends on the person.”