Kate Allan

The online diary of Kate Allan, author

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Scottish winge

My name, as you may have gathered, is Kate Allan.

Now, it's not the most unique name in the world. Granted. However, it is Allan with an 'a'. A Scottish surname, e.g. as in the place Bridge of Allan etc.

Allen with an 'e' is largely an English surname. Perhaps the origin is Breton? I dunno... But it's a different kettle of fish.

Anyway, I know my Allan ancestors were in Scotland, and from at least the 15-hundreds (when parish records on microfiche begin) were in Lanarkshire, and wrote it Allan.

However, I'm referenced on a lot of blogs as Kate Allen. Does it bother me?

Sadly, yes.


  • At 1:17 am, Anonymous Michelle said…

    Names are sensitive things. I'm a teacher and one of the things I am a stickler for is the correct pronunciation of students' names. When they are from a non-English-speaking country, it can sometimes be challenging, but I do think it's important to be respectful of culture. And they ALWAYS tell me if I accidentally misspell a name, which I appreciate!

  • At 7:55 am, Blogger Diane said…

    Phew! I just went to check my own reference to you and, Phew! I got it right. :o)

    But I do know what you mean and have full sympathy. People I hardly know will insist on calling me Di. Possibly what annoys me the most is when these people I hardly know then introduce me to someone else as Di. Sometimes people sneak an extra n into Dianne, but mostly they check on that these days.

    When I was learning to be a journalist one of the first things that was banged into my skull was get a person's name right. It doesn't take a lot, does it?

    And Bridge of Allan is a beautiful place. My sister lived there for a while.

  • At 8:33 am, Blogger Alex Bordessa said…

    Must admit I did the same as Diane and rapidly checked, but I'd also got it right! Phew! I think it's a matter of respect to get people's name right, and tend to apologise profusely if I don't.

    One name that's always being spelled incorrectly is my favourite author - Rosemary Sutcliff. There is no 'e' on the end of her surname, and yet even some of her books on Amazon are shown as Sutcliffe, despite the fact the page also shows a book cover, complete with the correct spelling!

  • At 12:30 pm, Blogger Sela Carsen said…

    I checked, too. Whew! Got it right. Folks misspell the last name, too. They like it as CarsOn, when it's CarsEn.

  • At 6:48 pm, Blogger Tess said…

    Kate - I sympathize fully. My name is spelled withOUT an "h" - the Polish way - yet so often people, even a couple of my friends, just put that ol' "h" in there and think it doesn't matter. But just like you with the "a" and the "e", I find it does matter.

    I find it especially interesting when I sign an email "Teresa" only to have them return it RIGHT AWAY with the greeting "Hi Theresa" - guess it proves people really don't see everything they read!

  • At 2:45 pm, Anonymous Peggie said…

    Kate I understand completely.
    As you can see my name has an 'ie'
    instead of the standard 'y' and I can't stand the way it looks when spelled with a 'y'. Silly, I know.

  • At 5:52 pm, Anonymous wendywoo said…

    I feel for you, Kate. I'm always getting misspellings of my surname. Wooton. Wooten. Wootten. Woolton.

    ps. and I remember being guilty of misspelling you on the RNA list, until you pointed it out. My head hangs in shame...

  • At 8:04 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said…

    I always feel such a nit picker though when I have to ask people to spell m'name right. :)

  • At 10:44 pm, Anonymous Jill said…

    If it helps, no one ever spells my last name right, so I understand your pain.


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