The spelling of my name: Allyson

Posted on in Todd Talks by Allyson Colton

The spelling of my name is not all that popular. Time and time again, I am reminded of this by people whom I deal with daily. When people ask for my name and how to spell it, they always assume it's A-L-L-I-S-O-N. When I tell them, in fact, my name has a Y, not an I, they are very apologetic.

It doesn't hurt my feelings; it isn't their fault. How are they supposed to know the exact spelling? I think in my time here at Penn-Troy there have been two people who knew how to spell my name, and the only reason they did is because they have someone close to them who spells their name the same way. Two out of the many calls we receive each day ... not good odds. So today when a customer called and asked for my name and was surprised by the way I spell it, I thought, "How many other people have this problem, and from where did all of these spellings derive?"

My parents named me after bluegrass singer Alison Krauss but obviously did not follow the same spelling. I have never asked them why they didn't just copy the spelling of her name. Maybe it was because they wanted my name to be unique, which they did a good job at.

As a young child, I would come across those bicycle license plates with the names on them but was never able to find the correct spelling of my name. They were always for Allison or Alison. I think at one point I might have asked my mom why I couldn't just spell my name that way so I could have one of those license plates. She probably told me my name was special and not everyone could be the same.

I think this has become more of a modern thing for people -- wanting to change the spellings of original names to make their kids stand out so that they won't feel as if they are average or just like other kids. Although I don't know my parents' reasons behind the spelling of my name, the fact that the spelling is unexpected makes my life a little more interesting and has been an icebreaker during a few conversations. Now that I am older, I am not bothered that my name isn't easily found on a personalized keychain or mini license plate. Instead, I can see this as something special that my parents picked out specifically for me. It's one of the things that makes me unique!