Daphne + Ling = Darfling...
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