Anne Schroeder has a funny item about one of Jim McDermott's staffers who unleashed the hounds of Hell on an unfortunate correspondent who made the mistake of shortening her name, Elizabeth, to Liz in an email. "Liz" just goes on and on, won't let it drop, is obviously an unhinged bitch, etc., etc.
But I totally know how she feels. I've got one of those names, Peter, which people routinely decide to alter. Most people don't, but some just cannot stop calling me Pete*! Why do they do this? It's a mystery, but it's a persistent mystery, one which I'm sure any Pony Pals™ with commonly shortened name forms can confirm. Any Barbaras out there?
Of course it's not that annoying, and I've found that The People Who Will Always Shorten Your Name are such a small minority that it's not worth getting worked up about. The People Who Stand on the Left on the Escalator, for instance, are a much larger, way more irritating group.
So anyway? That lady in McDermott's office? She's crazy, sure, but she's right.
On a side note of BONUS! PSP trivia, it was my aversion to "Pete" which led to this conversation with a coworker in the early 90s:
Fletcher: So anyway, Pete, blah blah blah...
Me: Um, Fletcher? No offense, but I really dislike "Pete."
Fletcher: Oh, right, you already told me that.
Me: You just can't help yourself, can you?
Fletcher: I can't explain it.
Me: Well, I can't explain my dislike of "Pete" either. It just makes me cringe.
Fletcher: How about "Peteykins"?
Me: Oddly, that doesn't bother me at all.
Fletcher: OK, so "Peteykins" it is.
And ever since, off and on, and especially on the web, I've been known by a certain number of people as "Peteykins." And it's all because I can't stand "Pete." The end.
*I'm looking at you, Andrew. I never call you Andy.