Thursday, July 21, 2011

the trouble with my name

when ryan and i got engaged, i thought a lot about my soon-to-be last name. my maiden name is kinnersley and, although i loved it for many reasons, it caused a lot of problems. no one - and i mean no one - could pronounce or spell it and i was constantly correcting people. so layton seemed kind of dreamy to me. how in the world can you mess that up, right? 

wrong. 

i have more problems with layton than i ever did with kindardsky - i mean kinserley - i mean kinnersley. layton is a city in utah, so it's a common word that most people around there have heard. the only problem is the infamous utah accent. utahans are known for not pronouncing the "t" sound when it comes in the middle of a word and even moreso when it also ends in an "n" sound. just ask my sister, she's a pro. moun-uhn, wri-uhn, ki-uhn...and lay-uhn. i've been told no one can tell i'm from utah because i don't really have the accent. but i know plenty of people who do. there's nothing wrong with it - it's unique just like any other accent common to a geographic location. but it causes me all sorts of problems.

when i tell people my name {especially when i'm in utah}, i often make a special effort to specifically pronounce the t. 

what's your name?
maren layTon. 
{blank stare or lifted eyebrow and confused look.} could you spell that for me? 
{sigh} l-a-y-t-o-n.
oh! lay-uhn. like the city!
yes. just like the city. 

and, defeated, i walk away. because if i were to say "lay-uhn" they'd ask me to spell it. when i spell it with the t, the'd say, "oh! lay-uhn" like it was something completely different than what i had said just moments prior. it's really never ending. so i had to laugh when my sister {the one with the excellent utah accent} emailed me a link to this article on "the case of the missing t" today. made me miss my friends and family and those majestic moun-uhns in my old back yard.
image sources here and here

6 comments:

ed and kelli said...

he he he... people always ask me where i'm from with how i talk... now it's an offical study for the "utah" accent:) but i will say that i do make a special effort to say the "t" in your name, cause i know it bugs you:)

Karen Hauley said...

The look . . . the feel . . . of . . . co-uhn.

Claire said...

Love it! You don't really notice the Utah accent until you move away...then it really starts to bother you!

Anonymous said...

that is too funny! I always pronounce the t in everything, maybe it's because I'm a teacher. I don't know which is harder Gruetzmacher or Kinnersley:)

Rob and Marseille said...

I grew up in Oregon, but have developed the missing 't' accent. I try and remember & correct myself around our friends whose son's name is LayTon.

Britta said...

When you come out here, try not to make fun of my Utah accent. I hate, hate, hate! that it still lingers and it comes back with a vengeance when I visit family there.