Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What's in a Name?

This week, I acquired several new monikers: Katrina, Kristina, Sabrina, and Fabrina. That's got to be a record for name massacres, though not an unusual occurrence for me.

I love my name. It's a beautiful name, but for some reason, it's one of those easily spelled names that's hard for people to spell.

Before we begin, it's Karina Lynn-Gay (Lumbert) Fabian. Feel free to refer back to it.

All my life, I've had problems with my name. Start with Karina. Seems intuitively, phonetically obvious, right? Nonetheless, I get Corrina, Carina, and any other combination thereof. "Katrina" seems to be the most common, though I've sometimes had "Sabrina" tossed in just to spice things up.

Then there's Lumbert. How hard can that be? Elementary school kids can spell "lumber" just fine, but ask an adult to to tack a T on the end and for some reason, they're baffled about the U. Maybe there's a silent T rule I was never taught.

Remember Barney Miller, and how no one could pronounce Officer Wojohowitz's name? He'd hold up his name plate and shout, "Wo-jo-ho-witz! It sounds just like its spelled!" I wanted to shout, "Lum-Bert. It's spelled just like it sounds!"

When I fell in love with Rob Fabian, I must admit there was a certain attraction to the name. Fabian. It flowed so nicely with Karina--all those i's and a's. And it was so easy to spell!

Ha! Fabina. Fabin. Faiban. And I can't count the number of times we've had someone lose a file or dry cleaning or what-have-you until we suggest they look under S. (Sabian) This despite the 60s singer who made the name famous. (Could he really have done it just for the money?)

The first time I was in a high school play, they spelled my name wrong in the program. Already stressed, I burst into tears. The teacher told me, "Some day your name will be in lights, and it will be spelled correctly." In the meantime, I've developed a sense of humor about it all. God loves me and calls me by name--my correct name.

I never wanted it in lights--just in print. Well, it's been in print--three craft books and two anthologies and counting. One of the craft books has it spelled "Katrina Fabian." It'll get fixed in the next print run.

Ironically, in the week that I experienced all these creative namings, I got a check for the reprint rights to an article I did on the questionable wisdom of giving your baby an unusual or hard-to-spell name. It was made out to "Karina Fabian."

Nice to see it spelled right where it counts.


cyn said...

It has been quite a week hasn't it Fabrina -- I mean . . . Karina! Mine had to take the booby prize since I messed up both first and last names. Good thing I wasn't aware of your middle names!

And even though you took it well, I must again apologize.


Karina Fabian said...

No apologies necessary, Cyn. it really did tickle my funny bone. "Fabrina" sounds to me like a detergent additive--I can see it splashed across some discount brand's box: "New! With Fabrina!"

As you can see, I milk this stuff for all it's worth.

For anyone reading this: if you like Christian spec-fic, check out Cyn's site and her latest anthology, Light at the Edge of Darkness.