I've always hated having to pronounce and spell my last name over and over again to people. We pronounce it "Martin-fee". This is funny, for a few reasons:
1) It is an incorrect pronunciation. My mother decided when she married my dad to pronounce it this way. The correct pronunciation should be Mar-TONE-fee. Growing up, we always thought my Dad and Grandmother (his mother) were pronouncing it incorrectly. That's pretty funny considering it was their name long before it was our name.
2) This "incorrect" pronunciation is actually pretty difficult to say, since the syllables don't go together properly. We don't really want to say it exactly as "MARTIN"-fee, so we try to make the "tin" part of it as "tun". Saying it quickly makes it difficult to understand. It makes it sound like MarTNfi (nothing between the 'T' and ''N'). We can't really go back to the correct pronunciation now, since everyone that knows me now knows the "incorrect" pronunciation.
3) Even my dad and Grandmother don't pronounce it the same way. My dad rolls the "R" and puts the accent on the first syllable - MARRRR-tone-fee. My grandmother rolls the "R" a little bit, but puts the accent on the second syllable - marr-TONE-fee.

What a mess! I've often thought that I would like to change my name to Martin. It's a nice name - Mike Martin. It would be so easy. I would rarely need to spell it. I would never have to pronounce it. My Grandmother would be horrified if I changed my name. She would be very offended but it would make my life so much easier.

Here is how a typical phone call goes now:
Me) Hi, this is Mike Martonfi returning your call
Other) What's the name?
Me) Martonfi. 'M' 'A' 'R', 'T' 'O' 'N', 'F' 'I'
Other) Sorry, say that again
Me) 'M' 'A' R', 'T' as in 'Tom", 'O', 'N' as in 'Nancy', 'F' as in 'Frank', 'I'
Other) <Silently confused, or spells it back to me incorrectly>
Me) No, 'F' as in 'Frank'
Other) S?
Me) No, 'F' like 'Frank'
Other) OK, what's after the 'I'?
Me) Nothing
Other) Oh, okay
Many times, all this effort to get them to spell it correctly still results in 'MartonSi' or 'MartonSY'.

Arrgghhh! If my grandmother were not around, I would have changed it to Martin long ago. Anyway, from now on, I will say it like this:

M as in MAYBE you need a hearing aid
A as in ARE you listening this time?
R as is in I'm not REPEATING this again
T as in TURN up the volume on your phone
O as in OH my head!
N as in I will NOT repeat this again
F as in FRIGGIN get it right this time
I as in I am fed up with repeating this over and over again

Mike Martin
Submitted  10/30/2005 12:38:05 PM
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