Sunday, March 6, 2011

Today I Consider Myself

I don't run across a lot of people who share my first name, but there are a few out there.

Someone told me of one in Canada, and there was one working in a grocery store in Portland, OR. Most recently, I was watching the documentary film of Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire, and there's a Dr. Allyn Howlett who talks about cannabis.

I think in many cases if it's spelled 'Allyn' it's probably pronounced like the male name 'Allen' (or it could actually be that name), so I was especially excited to hear Dr. Howlett's name spoken, and to find that it's pronounced the way I say it.

That is, with an 'A' like in the name 'Amanda,' but followed by 'Lin' like in the name 'Lynn'. I once spoke to someone who said it would be pronounced very differently in Welsh, but I don't speak Welsh, so I can't explain the details.

Although I haven't seen anyone else who spells it the way I do, I personally favor the apostrophe. I like to explain that it's important because it breaks up the A from the Llyn, reducing the aforementioned risk of mixing it up with 'Allen'. Creative use of punctuation can do wonders.

I heartily recommend apostrophes for all your cool modern names.


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