What goes through your head if your name is mispronounced? Sure, these days there are more unusual names and some common names that are spelled a hundred different ways. However, one place you want your name pronounced correctly is at any or all of your graduation ceremonies. Things can get awkward and embarrassing fast.

Last week at Thomas Jefferson University's College of Nursing commencement in Philadelphia, even common names, such as Thomas and Sarah were brutally mispronounced.

Um, what? What happened was all the graduates filled out either an online form or a handwritten card that had their names spelled out phonetically, and it was evident the announcer was using the phonetic spelling for pronunciation.

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Believe it or not, my name has been mispronounced, but thankfully not at a graduation ceremony. The name "Erin" is probably a little more common now than it was when I was born in 1975. I was the only Erin in my class, but there was another, and I think she was in the class ahead of me. I knew a second Erin in one of my dance classes, but she was a year behind me in school. The only famous Erins I knew in my early years were actresses Erin Gray (Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons) and Erin Moran of Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi. In modern times, we have activist Erin Brockovich, sports reporter Erin Andrews, and CBS reporter Erin Moriarity. And I thought the spelling Erin was only for females, but there are male Erins, not Aarons out there.

I always thought I was named Erin because of my Dad's family connection to Ireland; my great-great grandfather Anthony Phillips emigrated to the US from Donegal County, Ireland. It turns out, that one of Bill Cosby's daughters was named Erinn, and that is where Dad saw or heard it.

The moment my name was first mispronounced in school was in my sophomore chemistry class. My teacher, calling the roll on the first day, said "Errin Grant" and she may have said "Erwin". I finally spelled my name out phonetically (AIR-n) on a quiz a few weeks later and Mrs. Hale pronounced it correctly for the rest of the year. The other time I was met with another pronunciation of "Errrin" was at my high school's project graduation lock-in. To be fair, I never had Mrs. Ford as a teacher, but she's known my Dad for a long time. I didn't get it. To add insult to injury, later the next morning when I decided to bail around 5:00 a.m., my geometry teacher from my junior year didn't recognize me. I even took after-school tutoring with her; short story, I barely passed geometry and I swore off math until I had to take a required basic math course at WKU, and no, I didn't do well in it either.

Representatives from Thomas Jefferson University apologized, and they will get another chance to make the mispronounced names debacle right when another commencement is held May 20-21.

Fun and Familiar Family Phrases, But Do Other Kentuckians Use Them?

Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer

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