People have been mispronouncing my last name (Finke, pronounced fink-ee) my whole life. Usually, they make the mistake of dropping the “e” (Fink); I don’t really mind or even notice this anymore, since “Fink” was an obvious nickname bestowed upon me all through elementary and high school, but occasionally there’s a creative soul who goes with a long “i” and says “Fienk” (rhymes with, uh, nothing, but has the same i-sound as “bike”). Since most of my interaction with other people is on the Web and via e-mail (a notoriously silent medium), I wouldn’t doubt it if 95% of the people I communicate with every week aren’t sure how to pronounce my name.
Mike Cassano, a guy I met at the University of Minnesota during the Chipmark project, has come up with a fun solution to this pronunciation problem, and it’s called “Name Out Loud.” Basically, you go to their website, hit “Record” on a little flash app, say your (ahem) name out loud, and their app saves your recording so that your Internet friends can hear exactly how you pronounce your name.
It’s a neat idea, and it definitely would have saved this guy some trouble.