What’s in a name? And the spelling thereof?
In my last post (below) about a wonderful book that I am enjoying in a very special way, Dawns and Dusks – compiled by Diana MacKown from a series of taped conversations with Louise Nevelson – I spelled Diana MacKown’s name wrong. It was a typo. My typing style is hilarious and it’s a wonder that I type anything at all. It was a finger-o. I wish I hadn’t given up on typing class but it just would not come to me and so I regularly skipped it for I was not a dedicated student in high school. I had issues. I wrote a lot of notes excusing myself for driving lessons never taken and doctor’s appointments never scheduled. As a teen I was not entirely well-adjusted, but it was all hilarious nonetheless.
Anyway–I got a comment from Diana MacKown correcting my spelling and I felt horrible. I try really hard to spell names correctly because for my entire life people have misspelled my last name, adding an “L” to it and thus making it even more ridiculable.
I found a Facebook group the other day called, “There is no “L” in Ringey” which I did not join because I don’t know those fellow Ringey people.
I have a cousin who has two email addresses at his job. One is first initial then ringey@ whatever it is, and the other is first intial ringley@ blah-di-blah. It’s a workaround, so that he’ll not miss important emails. I’d say 99% of the population adds that “L”.
As a child I dreaded the first day of school because the teacher would call out, “Laura Ringley?” and everyone would laugh. I grew up during the Laugh-In era and loved that show but hated that Lily Tomlin bit where she played a telephone operator who woud say, “One ringey dingey, two ringey dingies”. Kids would chant that at me. I dreamed of changing my name one day to the original spelling, “Regnier”, which got mangled at the border when my ancestors came here from Canada. Lily, you owe me, but I loved you in that movie, I Heart Huckabees. Lilly, email me so we can discuss this. I am still in therapy but it’s not all your fault. It’s not my only issue.
But if I was named Laura why would I call myself Mo?
Glad you asked. When I was brought home from that baby place, my older brother Matt pointed at me and said something that sounded like Mo-ra. So from that moment on I was Mo. My father called me Mosely Josely and my mother called me Mosey Josey. It was confusing. But I was embarrassed to be named after a stooge and so I begged my parents not to call me Mo in front of friends. But years later that Mo thing slipped out in conversation at an old job and from then on I was Mo and I guess I feel more like a Mo and it stuck so I succumbed to it.
How is this relevant to all this other blah-di-blah? Well, twice now I have found mentions about me on websites (due to google alerts) asserting that I call myself Mo because I do mosaic art. Yikes. I think if I were of the mind to create a moniker for myself it might be something stooge-less. And sometimes I get notes addressed to me as Moe, so I feel the pain of misspelling in that respect as well. But… no. I did not name myself. And actually I call myself a sculptor because that’s how I see what I do. And the name Mo is precious to me because my brother Matt was my idol and I adored him and followed him around and tried to emulate him. Matt is gone now after 22 years as a beautiful soul, but somewhere he is happy that I have let the name Mo take precedence over Laura which sounds so glamorous as to not describe me at all. I’m just a Mo. So, Diana, my sincerest apologies. I love that book and hope others will find it and get as much as I have from it. And please email me if you’d ever consent to being a call-in guest on my radio show and share some more of that loveliness.