Ok, so the title of this post is slightly misleading. It makes it seem like I only have one pet peeve. That is so not true. EVERYTHING annoys me. I guess a more appropriate title would be “My Biggest Pet Peeve Out Of My Numerous Pet Peeves”. Surprisingly, the winner of this honor has nothing to do with me having to ride the bus every day. Or acronyms.
My biggest pet peeve is nicknames or, more specifically, when people automatically shorten your name, therefore giving you a nickname you did not ask for and perhaps don’t like.
Growing up with the name Bethany, you can imagine how many people tried (and still try) to call me Beth. The number is not small. But, my name is NOT Beth. I don’t feel like a Beth. I have no desire to be called Beth. I do not, ever, introduce myself as Beth. Still, people feel the need to shorten my name. Is three syllables really too much? I think not. I stopped answering my social studies teacher in middle school until he decided to call me the correct name, and for anyone who knows me, you know that me ignoring a teacher is (was, I guess) a BIG deal. I very much dislike being called Beth, even more than I dislike being called Brittany or Stephanie. I get those a lot, too. Someone once thought my name was Claire. That didn’t bother me at all.
And, I don’t just hate it when it happens to me. What gives people the right to think they can just give you a new name??? I was watching a TV show last weekend in which a character introduced herself as Elizabeth. Throughout the episode, not one, but TWO other characters referred to her as Beth, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t say “Hi, I’m Elizabeth, but you can call me Beth.” I wonder why they didn’t call her Liz…
It’s super funny when people ask me if they can call me Beth or if I go by Beth- they almost always automatically assume the answer is yes (alliteration!). My emphatic NO usually gives them pause. Why does our society love to give nicknames??? I guess they are a sign of affection, but I don’t need the faceless person on the other end of the phone whom I will never meet to show me any affection. That’s just creepy.
Along with this I also, for some reason, get super annoyed when people give their kids a certain name so they can have a specific nickname. I have a friend (you know who you are) who once decided she wanted to have a daughter named Victoria so she could call her Vickie (or Vicky or Vicki- I’m unsure of her choice in spelling). I was perplexed. If you want to call her Vickie, why not just name her Vickie? I guess my mom is semi-guilty of this. She named me Bethany because she likes the name Beth.
In any case, the name (or nickname) a person goes by should really be up to that person; or at least something they like. The moral of this story: always refer to someone by the name he or she gives when you are introduced or I will come after you.
Song of the Day: Beth by KISS (Fun Fact: this song played a part in the choosing of my name, which I did not find out until I was like 26 and it was performed on Glee)