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    Posted July 24, 2008 by
    Camillus, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Do you have a unique name?

    Unique is overrated...


    My name is Renate. My last name is unique too, (I'm currently the only person with my full name on the planet!) but let's leave it there for now. I was named after a German woman who was kind to my mother in a time of crisis in her young life. While I've come to love being told how beautiful it is, I haven't always appreciated it...


    It's pronounced Reh-not-ah, but my entire life people trying to pronounced it AND spell it after I say it have butchered it mercilessly. Pronunciations range from Ree-nAte and Renetta to Renee with spellings so wretched an English teacher would cringe. I've always been the only one, and I've always been embarrassed having to spell it out or correct the pronunciation every single time.


    As a child I adopted the nickname Nada, hoping to eliminate all that nonsense, but as I got older the recurring refrain was, "Did you know your name means 'nothing' in Spanish?" and I would always scowl and tell them "No! You're the first person to tell me that!" I just couldn't win! Now in my adult life I've just accepted my fate, and I start to spell it correctly as soon as I say it out loud or just pronounce it for whichever receptionist is unfortunate enough to be given the task.


    So of course, I had my first daughter in 2000. I remembered my years of torment, and wanted nothing more than to spare her the constant annoyance... But after 22 hours of hard labor, I named her Kahlyn. (Pronounced Kay-Lynn - it was originally spelled Kahlan and we tried to make it a little easier on her) The tradition continues...

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