The other day I was mildly chastised for addressing a person by an abbreviated version of their name.
It was actually by mistake as I tend to take cues from the person themselves, how they introduce themselves or how they sign their name at the end of an email. By nurture I suspect I am quite formal as my sister and I had 1940s etiquette drummed into us as children as that was how our parents were raised. In addition to being old parents they saw no reason to "get with it".
Whilst there were many long sighs around the dining room table and beyond I am now rather pleased, because I have the option knowing how to behave depending on the situation and environment. Although I defy anyone to say they don't mind sitting opposite someone who eats like a Labrador!?! Just sayin' my family members on the younger side please take note....
So for me to abbreviate a person's name was unusual, especially as this was via email. It may have been the auto-type setting as I was emailing another with the same name that day or perhaps I thought that's how they were known? Or maybe it was a small gremlin in my brain - don't know.
It did make me smile because SoffiaB, the name of my business was born out of .... well I don't know what to call it? A laziness, a mishearing, a confusion over accent, all of the above? Since moving Stateside people continuously call me Sophia in person, on the phone AND email me Sophia, then and now.
I don't mind I like the name Sophia, in fact I like it rather more than Sophie to be honest. I am quite happy with Sophie but would have preferred Sophia. So when it came to thinking about a name for my business that I started here, it seemed imminently appropriate it should be Soffia and then B because of my surname, oh and it had a nice ring to it. Of course the branding was not just about a lovely dressing gown, it was grown out of my frustration of not being able to find a robe that looked gorgeous and FELT fabulous - in fact I've never found one, other than ours, to this day!
But then I thought to myself what about Soph? I do get called that too occasionally usually by those closer to me and it always rather takes me by surprise. I don't think I really look or sound like a Soph? And it's not that I mind per se, it just doesn't seem to suit me?
Whenever I am in the company of Japanese people for example, I make a point of listening carefully and ensuring I repeat their names back to make sure I pronounce it correctly. Because no one born in Japan was named Jane-San!!
So back to my chastened self, naturally I apologized and I hope they've brushed it off as a mistake, because it certainly wasn't out of lack of respect for that person!
So in conclusion perhaps it has nothing to do with relaxed etiquette or laziness. It's respect, because otherwise we might as well call everyone "Oy you!" and then where would we be :-)
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous - Sophie xx