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The One With The Annoyingly Unpronounceable Name

November 20, 2012   

Hey Journal Buddies

So, by a show of hands, how many people feel my poor four-letter-long name is completely unpronounceable? Let’s see… that’s not a lot. Well, truth be told, if you think it’s that easy and you’re not from South Asia, you’ll probably get it wrong, and after I correct you the first few hundred times, you’ll be happy to shoot your hand up in the air. So, to keep people from suffering through the misery of trying to get it right, I, in my first few weeks at Hamilton, adopted the American take on my name that sounded somewhat like “Us-aaaad”, and went by it. It just helped to not have to correct every professor, classmate, dining hall staff member and friend.

Well, things have started to change around a little bit. Word got out at the Career Center that my name is not “Us-aaaaad”. The Career Center, where I’ve worked since last February is this kingdom of amazing resources available to the campus community, helping students network with alumni, get internships and find jobs around the end of their Hamilton sojourn. And above that, they are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. So, when news spread, a mass-movement was stirred up in my absence to get my name right. A co-worker, who’s also a good friend and thus knew what it actually was, helped the first few people get it right, but when information started to travel around, things started to mutate for the worse… And by the time word got to David, my supervisor, what he wrote, and later presented to me, was a post-it that read “A-cid” which made me laugh my insides out.

Thus, sitting here at the Career Center this fine morning, I’m conducting a get-Asad’s-name-right workshop, as everyone in the staff who passes by tries to say it, and then I correct them. And as I hear almost every possible variation of what a 4 letter word could sound like, and then say my name out loud for maybe the thirtieth time today, I rest assured that it’s only Hamilton where people would actually care that much.

And if anyone out there is curious as to how it goes, the best phonetic representation would perhaps be “Us-uth”. But of course, that’s not quite it… =)