Do you have the kind of name that readily lends itself to abbreviation? Or perhaps you’d prefer that people just leave your name alone? Being a ‘Tracey’, once people get to know me they tend to like referring to me as ‘Trace’ (though it generally takes them a little while to get ‘comfortable’ enough to do that). I’m completely OK with the shortened version of my name, but it had me wondering whether everyone else felt the same way.
On the other side of this abbreviated issue are people like the Mr, who have names that are already far too short to further abbreviate. With a three letter, single syllable name, the Mr finds that people like to instead do something ‘creative’ with his last name – you could imagine the enjoyment people gain from playing around with a last name like ‘Sargent’.
Abbreviating someone’s name seems to be an easy way for people to demonstrate their familiarity or close relationship with that person. But much like someone who jumps in too soon with terms of endearment like darling or love, sometimes the use of an abbreviated name can be a bit presumptuous … like you’re implying a closer relationship than may actually be the case.
Now that I think about it, I don’t really tend to abbreviate other people’s names all that much, if at all (even those of close friends) … How do you feel about it all? Do you love or hate your abbreviated name? Or is this tendency to denote familiarity by changing someone’s name just another one of those Australian idiosyncrasies?
PS. Perhaps next we can investigate the ‘wonderful’ world of nicknames.