It’s not entirely the fault of my parents. It was an honest mistake. They did a reasonable job picking my first name. Eric. Conservative, yet crisp and concise. Of course my last name was predetermined. As for my middle name, they really dropped the ball on that one.
Stephen. With a ‘ph’. Yuck. Why in the world does ‘ph’ sound like ‘v’? It makes no sense. Especially considering there’s already another version of this name with a ‘v’.
I’ve been reluctantly adding this name to the middle box on IRS forms and Visa applications my entire life. I can’t erase it from my identity. But there is something I can do about it. From now on, I’m pronouncing it ‘Ste - fen.’ At least 'ph' has the phonetic value of 'f' in other circumstances (elephant, photograph). So if you call me Stephen but pronounce it ‘Ste - ven’ – I will get phery aggraphated and get rephenge by phehemently driphing a heaphy shophel into your claphicle.