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3 Oct 2014
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Escaping A Silly Name

Kirsten (pronounced Keersten) Hearn emailed us to tell us that she believes there's something called Nomenclaturephobia, and that she's suffereing from it - big time..

"In 1955 when I was born, my mother was a member of the Communist Party. Her serious intention was to honour her political views by naming her only daughter after one of her heroes. Lenin didn't seem to ring true as a girl's first name, so she considered Ninel. Fortunately my father, an opera buff with more liberal views insisted that I be named after a large Wagnerian soprano, Kirsten Flagstad. I shudder to think how Ninel would have been shortened. I could but hope for Nina, but know with that awful sinking certainty that it would probably have been Ninny!

No-one pronounces my name correctly. Spelt Kirsten, it is pronounced either Keersten or Sheersten, depending on how pure the opera lover is. I've long since given up getting annoyed at the "kersteen's", "Kristianne's" and Kerston's". Life's too short!

My many names were particularly useful when indulging in letter writing campaigns to leftie and feminist publications where I could conduct a happy correspondence with myself under a variety of names. I wonder (slightly guiltily) whether the hard pressed editors of those little rags realised that Christina herriton", "Tina Shirley" and occasionally "Lady Lesbia Dyke" (yes really) were not in fact the same person.

As an occasional stand-up and comic singer, I also have a stage name, Maxi Token. Actually "Maxi" by which I am also known by friends and aquaintances, is also suitable for me because I am of a "grand" scale - You could say I have grown into my given name since Ms Flagstad was a big girl".

In what ways does your name have an effect on your personality?
If give the chance to change your name, would you prefer to call yourself and why?

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