A blog about a kid. I like her.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Scene From a Hospital Waiting Room

Cast of Characters: Older Woman, Younger Woman, Aletheia's Mom

OW: [Yelling across the room] A-lee-thea! Come back here!
AM: [To YW] Your daughter's name is Alethea?
YW: Yes.
AM: My baby girl has almost the same name- Aletheia! How'd you choose that name?
YM: She's named after my friend's grandmother.
AM: You know it's Greek?
YM: Yeah. It means 'faith.'
AM: [Awkward pause.] Um, I think it actually means 'truth.'
YM: [Confused look.] How did you say you pronounce your daughter's name?
AM: A-lay-thea.
OW: Why do you say it like that?
AM: It's the more authentic Greek pronunciation. My husband studied Greek in college and when he learned the word he thought it was beautiful and he chose it as a potential name for a daughter. But, um, A-lee-thea is good, too. It's very pretty.

AM: [later, to me] You know, looking back on it, I think I basically just told those people that we're better than them in every way.

1 comment:

Truth Unleashed said...

My name is also Aletheia, and I pronounce it "a-LEE-thee-ah." My understanding is that the original Greek pronunciation was closer to "a-LAYT-hay-ah," and so in choosing how to pronounce the transliteration, instead of insisting on strict accuracy (which would require the "h" to be silent or the "t" to be pronounced and the "h" gently aspirated), I've just replaced the Greek long "e" (eta) with the English long "e" to anglicize the name consistently. So, either pronunciation is justifiable.

I understand what you mean in this post about making others feel inferior by accident though. I've been on both sides of that and it's not a good feeling either way.

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