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Category: Gay Cioffi

pronun?

By Gay Cioffi

Just as in real estate where the three most important things are:   LOCATION… LOCATION…. LOCATION, when bestowing a name on a baby the three most important things are: PRONUNCIATION… PRONUNCIATION… PRONUNCIATION.

As a person whose last name is almost never pronounced correctly, Cioffi  (the Ci is like Ch and …oh, if only I had a buck for every time I have had to say that!!), I know that navigating the social territory of “when and how often to correct” those who mispronounce it is tricky, to say the least. I had a third grade teacher who pronounced it KEY-OFF and I cringed every time I was called on for the entire school year.

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me-and-men

By Gay Cioffi

When my son was about to be born, close to thirty years ago, there were very few resources for parents-to-be to turn to for ideas for names.  Nothing as wonderful as Nameberry, for sure!  As a veteran nursery school teacher of ten years, I had the added challenge of having favorite names already taken by my many students.  I loved the name Oliver, but I would forever associate it with one of the adorable boys in my first nursery school class.  And as the youngest in a family of three brothers and a sister, my older siblings had also gotten to favorites of mine, before I was even of childbearing age. I will never forget the phone call from my mother announcing that my sister Ann had just delivered a new baby girl and that she was naming her Jennifer. I went completely silent as I stood in the hallway of my college dorm.  “What’s wrong?” my mother asked. I hesitated, but finally confessed that I was hoping someday to have a daughter named Jennifer.  Of course, when I reached my sister by phone later that day I had only enthusiasm for the news of a new niece and her beautiful name.

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