My first name is not an especially difficult one to spell, or so I thought. It’s just one “A,” two “N”s, and two “E”s separated by two “T”s. Easy-peasy, right? But believe me, it’s been misspelled as Anita, Antoinette, Antonia, Annetta, and even Arlene. I found out when traveling to Egypt that the hieroglyphic equivalent of my name translates simply to the phonetic “Anet.” Certainly the ancient Egyptians can be forgiven for dropping a vowel or couple of consonants here and there. After all, they built the Pyramids with manual labor, and losing extra baggage along the way easily can be understood.
Perhaps the most blatant misspelling of my name, however, came in the form of a valentine I received from a boy in grade school. It was addressed in a childish scrawl to “Dear Antenna.” While this faux pas occurred more than fifty years ago, I still remember it, and so may your readers.
The lesson to be learned here is this: If something is important enough to send/submit/hope-to-be-published, double-check your facts and triple check your spelling. That’s why staffers’ names are listed in a newspaper or magazine’s masthead. A prospective editor or publisher may just assume your work contains other inaccuracies if you didn’t take the time to verify the spelling of the recipient’s name. It could mean the difference between getting your piece considered for publication and losing the chance entirely.
Happy Valentine’s Day, all the same!