The other night some of the young folks (early 20's every one of them) were having a little party in the common room on our floor. Since the dormitory where we live is all concrete walls and ceilings and the floors are tiled, it's like living in an experimental speaker system at the Bose factory. Knowing I would not be able to sleep, I dropped in. Over the salsa music the Argentinean students were, one girl asks me my name.
"Scott Moore", I reply. She gave me a puzzled look and I thought perhaps the music was too loud or I was being too quiet. "SCOTT MOORE", I repeat. Again a puzzled look, but with a head shake meaning, "I am sorry traveler of the stars, but these vocal sounds you are making don't even sound like language to me". Exasperated, I simply say, "Ich heisse Scott". Here eyes light up and she says, "Oh! Skoht!", but with a very, very short "oh" like everyone else in Germany pronounces my name.
This reminded me of being in Germany last year when I met an old follow in a pub and upon hearing my name pronounced very distinctly, "Scott. Moore. I. haff. never. heard. this. name. before!" Sigh. My name is so common in English, you can't actually google me unless you add "phoom" or "online community" and there's still another Scott Moore who blogs about online community.
So, on a sleepless night, I mulled this over. Is my accent *that* bad? I repeated my name to myself over and over. Then I thanked the fates that I didn't have a roommate who would surely be cowering in a corner wondering why the hairy mad-man was whispering his own name. Then I realized that I pronounce my name with a longer "ah"ish kind of "o" as in dog. Not dohg, but dawg. How very American of me.
Sometimes it's easier to accept what is around you than struggle against it. So from now until I leave, I will be "Skoht", but my friends can call me Skawt.