LETTER: The name game

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The name game

Sir: Philip Parkin's understanding that registrars have the responsibility of advising parents on the usual spelling of names (letter, 28 December) may or may not be correct. Even if it is, the successful completion of this duty does depend on the registrar being able to spell.

For some years I worked with a colleague whose parents had come to England as Jewish refugees from Austria in the 1930s. When their daughter was born shortly after they arrived in England, they decided to call her Anita. However, their grasp of English was still poor, and so they relied on the registrar to spell the chosen name correctly.

Sadly, the registrar chose to spell it with a double "n" as Annita. Throughout her life whenever my colleague has been asked for her name for some official or semi-official reason, she has had to spell it. And as a child at school she was often disciplined by her teachers for not being able to spell her own name correctly.


Ripon, North Yorkshire