Ever since year 12 at school, I have been calling myself Sim’ (that’s Sim with an apostrophe), which is basically a contraction of my name, Simon. I’m rather particular about punctuation, probably the result of both my parents being primary school teachers, my sister being a secondary school teacher, and me being a pedant. I will admit that my punctuation is not perfect, but I do try (and I do enjoy philosophical discussions about punctuation with my sister).
I’m also strongly of the belief that names are a precious thing for an individual (the sweetest words a person can hear is their own name spoken with love and respect), and as such, names should be pronounced the way that the individual wants them to be pronounced.
I frequently struggle for people to correctly pronounce Sim’ to rhyme with time (as opposed to Sim which would be like Tim). Sim’ being a contraction of Simon (long i !!), to me says it should make sense (which is why I write my name with the apostrophe in the first place).
I have some friends who do try to get it right, I have some who forget, and I have quite a few who deliberately get it wrong, just to annoy me. Lucky for them I don’t hold grudges. Much.
Unfortunately there are some mediums which don’t allow me to include the apostrophe in my name – such as IRC channels and since I chat to a lot of my friends online, I don’t get the benefit of them seeing the apostrophe all the time. You get that.
I spent most of my final years of school debating with my Maths teacher (Peter Searle, whom I hold the deepest respect for), about the issue. He (being the Maths teacher he was) didn’t buy into my argument about the contraction or about it being my choice – and insisted that I try Sime, Syme, or even Siim, which is what many other people also suggest. Really, they don’t understand, and I honestly think that many of them don’t want to. *sigh*
There was also one incident with my Physics teacher, who took a mark off one of my tests for signing my name Sim’ Hampel. I suspect it was mostly because he was annoyed with me for getting full marks in (almost) everything and still being an annoying prat (I ended up winning the school Physics prize that year). He was a lot of fun, and I really did enjoy his Physics classes.
So, I vainly battle on against the uneducated and unwilling masses, in my futile attempt to be recognised by the name that I choose, spoken the way I wish. The title of this blog – The Rhyme of Sim’ – is an attempt at educating a few more people, but I have already had some people ask me what it means. Those people who can’t work it out for themselves don’t deserve to understand I say !