Daphne + Ling = Darfling...

I was reading Elviza's recent What's In a Name?, and many memories came flooding back...

In actuality, I had written an article about my name a while back (probably 3 years back), and I went searching for it high and low...And I found it!!!

So, Voila! Here you go:-

Imagine if you may, a world where everyone, whether black or white, answers to the name 'Ei!' or 'Oi!' Imagine a world where the 'Ei!' or 'Oi!' that you hear might be meant for you or it might not be. Imagine also how frustrating it will be if the billions and billions of people in this world only knew 'Ei!' and 'Oi!' as their name.

Now, before anyone takes a raw egg and throw it at me, allow me to plead my case.

For centuries, we 'superior' beasts of the animal kingdom have done something that animals do not do (at least not that we know off). We have given ourselves names-names that we so carefully deliberate and wear so very proudly.

It is the task of every parent to ponder, deliberate, argue, and even shed tears over the name choosing of their beloved offspring-to-be. It doesn’t matter whether the sex of the baby is known. Parents just seem to love going over 'possible' names for their little bundle of joy and much pain and sweat is put into it. Why else would there be sections in a bookstore dedicated to Baby's Names? What about the mushrooming of Internet websites with possible names for parents to surf and pick?

Unfortunately, the names that parents take so long to choose are often the butt of jokes. It is the nightmare of every child (and parent alike) for their name to be the made into the 'water-cooler-conversation'. Most of the times, parents mean well, but somehow, people will find ways to change the name anyhow, intentionally or unintentionally.

I could give you quite a few examples, but I might also be getting myself a hefty lawsuit that I won't be able to pay off. I'll leave it to your imagination, shall I?

Since we are at this topic, allow me to introduce myself:

Hi, my name is Daphne Ling.

Now, I'm sure most of you will agree that my name isn't that uncommon. Yeah, sure, the name Daphne isn't one of the top-ten names in the United States or the United Kingdom. But I'm sure you've heard of the name before, right? If you haven't, then please do me a favour and turn on Cartoon Network and wait for the next screening of Scooby-Doo! Does it ring a bell now? Yes, I have got the same name as that 'blond-girl-who-always-wears-a-purple-dress-and-whose-father-has-tons-of-money'.

One would expect, with such a common name that people should have no problem pronouncing it. I, however, would beg to differ.

Maybe I should introduce myself another way:

Hi, my name is Daphne Ling and it's pronounced Deaf-nee.

You see, ever since I entered school, my name has been the one that has endured the most contortion and change.

Allow me to take you down memory lane. Walk along side me if you may.

When I was in Standard 1, one of my teachers called me Stephanie. Try as I may, I couldn't get her to call me Daphne. She just insisted that she was right, no matter what I said or did. So, that was in Standard 1.

In Standard 2, one of my teachers decided that she would call me 'There-per-nee'. If you thought that was bad, allow me to introduce you to Teacher Number-3. She called me 'There-pin'. I tried valiantly to point out that the letter ph when put together sounded like the letter F. Imagine the irony of the situation-Here I was, a mite of an 8 year old, arguing with grown-ups 5 times my age on the correct usage of phonetics. I eventually gave up (again).

From Standard 2 until now, my name underwent more contortionism. I've been called everything from 'There-fur-nee' to 'Dap-nee' to 'Dap-her-nee' and yes, even 'Dolphin'. And where may I ask did the letter 'L' come from? I can understand if the contortion arose from the lack of phonetic-appreciation. But, DOLPHIN?!?!

And then the icing on the cake came when I entered Form 4 in the year 2002. My class teacher, a truly wonderful and magnificent chap of a gentleman (please excuse the pun) decided to give my name a lift, despite knowing full well the REAL pronunciation. He did what no one had ever done before-He joined my name.

'Huh?' I can just see most of your jaws dropping to the table top, salivation not withstanding. Yes, he joined my name. For 2 years (he was my class teacher for Form 4 and Form 5), I was known to him as 'Darfling'. Yes, most of you have probably figured out by now that he is a Math teacher. So, he did what any Math teacher is superb at doing- Addition. 'Daphne + Ling = Darfling'.

One day, when my mood wasn's all that good, I told him: "SIr, It's D.A.P.H.N.E", in the tone of voice a mother would tell her persistently stubborn (or perhaps, stupid) 5 year-old kid that "Eating your poo-poo is not good for you"...

Guess what he said: "You want me to call you Darfling, or Darling?"


Now, when I look back, I'm thankful he didn't call me 'Duckling'...or worse!...'Dumpling'...

Other than that, he's pretty ok. My name is not the only name he took the liberty to change, but mine was of course was the most badly 'hit'.

Ah, what the heck? After all, even the Shakespeare dude said "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet"...

Name calling aside, whether intentional or not, I still love my name. So, thanks, mum and dad. Who knows? It could be a formula that high school children have to learn in the future.

Let's see. I can just imagine Math lessons with this equation on the board:

Daphne + Ling = Darfling

Takers, anyone?


Anonymous said…
Hahahahaha. Darfling!
God, you are hilarious! Keep your work girl. Who knows? Maybe you can get your work published one day! I'll definitely buy your book man! You're such a funny girl!
J.T. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee said…
Hi Daphne, just continue calling me as 'uncle Lee', and not a "Lee" with "Ah" infront. Might sound like I changed my religion, arhaaa ha ha.
Hey, I love the sound of your name, sounds so classy, like in the movie 'gone with the wind'.
Its funny but some names you tend to associate with something, in your case either a Jaguar or BMW. Like in 'Dixie'? Ahhh, like in Harley Davidson.
Hey, who's that furry guy you cuddling with? UL.
Anonymous said…
Dear Deaf Nee,

Ha ha ha ha ! You are hillarious. Wish I could write a funny post like this one.

You know my stand on names - that is I have given up!!!

Good luck with yours Sis! Thanks for the link anyway
silversarina said…
Hi Daphne,

I hopped from jt's blog.

I couldn't stop laughing reading this n3....so funny :)
Having you Darfling on my right and Jakun Keju on my left would really spark my day..cheers !!

Good entry to ponder coz all this while I thought only malays are pretty fussy when it comes to picking suitable names ( most of the time we choose names with good meanings in arabic )..
Unknown said…
Daphne...you are sooo funny... I wonder if your teachers met you now, would they still call you differently...hahahaha
Daily Nibbler said…
Daphne Ling sounds good. Got character if pronounced correctly. But if one must contort or in anticipation of any, I will pick Darling not Dafling. Dafling reminds me of the sibblings of Daffy Duck or something. No offence, yah?

Anyway, musn't say more cuz I was brought up not to laugh at people's names.
Anonymous said…
Oh Daphne! In your case, it is most obviously a Darling! I think maybe your teacher wanted to call you Darlign but was afraid someone might report him so he made the Darfling up! And when you corrected him, he let slip what was on his mind! Oh Darling Daphne! Great name, great person, and great work! Would be great to meet ya one day. You know, my wife's name is also Daphne. Had it not been that I am hapily married with two children, I would be most tempted to know you more Darling girl ;-) I guess it's too late for that, but I wish the guy you choose Congratulations! May he be worthy of you!
jimi said…
Daphne dearie,

Jimi tak pasti tentang orang lain. Tapi, Jimi pasti dan kagum dengan tulisan Daph.

Pernah terfikir untuk menulis novel?
Anonymous said…
That's why I call you Nai nai :)

If you think your name is bad ahh..

At least Daphne exists lohh..

Ae Mi = doesn't exist anywhere

The only way I can get people to pronounce Ae correctly is by asking them how they spell and pronounce AEroplane..

bibliobibuli said…
hello daphne or whatever variaito of your name you settle on!) - very nice to meet you last night at the B.U.M. thing
Fusion16 said…
Dear Darfling,

This post brought back memories of people butchering my name... As you can imagine, with a name resembling Superman's, there are only about 25,000,000 ways to savage it.

But still, wat's up with the dude who called u Darling???? Hmmm...
Daphne Ling said…
Hi Guys,

Thanks...I like my name too ;)I was away for the BUM Gathering(Bloggers Meet-up), thus late reply...

I-vy and Cikgu Jimi,
Book? Lol...Tak boleh lar...After the environmentalists will come strangle me cos I cut down trees for no use...

If only you could come BUM...

Uncle Lee,
Aiseh...Why lar you didn't fly in...We sooo could have used you at the party to provide us our cars ;) Hehee..

Heh...I curi your idea ma...Thanks for being such a sport...Looked for you at BUM :(

Hi LoveUJordan,
Thanks for visiting...Hehe...Yes, Jakun Keju and Darfling should make your day...=)

Raden Galoh,
Hehe...why you didnt come for BUM? I saw your name on the list...It was directly below mine...Boohoo...

Daily Nibbler,
Thank you...I like my name too! Hehe...But thank God he didnt call me Darling...*Yuck*...

Erm...I'm guessing I'm too young for you, even if you erm...didn't get married adi...But thanks?!?!

Hi Bibliobibuli,
Great meeting you at the BUM too...I think it's more like honoured though =) Thanks for dropping by...I'll go pop over to your blog too!

Wah...Long time no see...I don't get the Superman thingy though...Sorry lar...Blur...

Phew! I'm done...I think...
Anonymous said…
Haha..I remember those days! If i'm not mistaken, he messed up a few other names too..haha..

Anyway just dropping by. Keep doing what you do :)