Tuesday, July 13, 2010


K can be a toughie because there aren't that many things in ordinary life that start with K. Still, K is a neat letter, which is probably why marketers and citizens enjoy misspelling C words with Ks. For instance, Kool, Krazy, and, most horrifyingly, Kum & Go, the gas station chain.

Even our guide in this challenge, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, included KLASSY as one of her two K entries in Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.

Of course, my name starts with K. It's KATHLEEN, which I have always liked. It's occurred to me many times to try to go by KATHLEEN instead of KC, which almost everyone calls me. But, it turns out it's really hard to shake a nickname, especially when giving up something sort of informal and friendly-sounding for something more distinguished, like Kathleen. Or Margaret. Or Judith.

There have been a few iterations of my nickname. When I was a baby, my parents experimented with spellings. These included KAY-CEE, which I guess I'm glad they didn't use. I DID use KACEY for almost all of my growing up. I switched to KC sometime in high school because it seemed simpler, but still, I have to spell my name for every damn person I tell it to. I prefer not to use the periods - K.C. - because I find that encourages people to say kay-CEE, which I don't like. But, since no periods is technically incorrect, I guess it's ironic to omit them given my profession as an English teacher.

Oh well.

I turns out I had a lot to say about my own name. Does this make me a narcissist? Perhaps the whole existence of this blog indicates an unhealthy level of self-interest? One time, a cousin of Dan's told me he hates to read this blog because, in his words, "It's one big over-share."

Geez, Brendhan. No one forced you to click on the link, if you know what I'm saying.


Jill said...

#1- um, yeah. If it's over sharing, don't read it, dude.

#2 - I am personally interested to hear about the iterations of your name. I love both KC and Kathleen. And with a son named John, whom (to be English teachery) we call JJ, I want to know what you feel about this. We don't have periods in JJ's name either, because it doesn't stand for anything. This summer he is going to a couple of little camps, where they keep calling him John, and he doesn't respond. I guess we didn't realize how this was going to be a big thing for the rest of his life. We just didn't want to call him John, which is also husband John's name.

Anyway. Thanks for the post.

LH said...

I liked learning about your name as well. And I like Kathleen as well as KC, but when I want to call you "Kace" in writing, I'm not crazy about how that looks.

Jana said...

Being a non-IRL friend (i.e. internet friend ;)), I know you mostly as Kathleen but when I see you refer to yourself as KC, I always pronounce it kay-CEE. Thanks for clearing that up.

Martha Pettee said...

And I call you Kathleen all the time, which is a name I love. It is not at all like Judith - sorry to all you Judith's out there - nor is it formal and old-fashioned like Martha. It's lilting.

jdoc said...

Dave's mom's name is Judith, but she goes by her middle name, Peck. I like it much better than Judith. She got in trouble with a nun once for insisting on being called Peck, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

KC said...

I like the name Judith! But, I was thinking it would be like going from Judy to Judith to go from KC to Kathleen. Also, my aunt is JudeAnn. Same thing.

I also like Martha! And Jessica!

Jana, When I joined the board I signed up as Kathleen because I'd never had internet friends before and I was worried that telling my nickname would be like giving out my SSN. :)

Gina Marie said...

The person who has been most critical of my blog... is also the one that reads it more than ANYONE else. (Thanks, Sitemeter!!!) I am always baffled by that, but also know that Debbie Downers are probably the most likely to lurk around the blogosphere for fodder.

Aside from that, I've always thought it was tres cool (since I started hearing about you, long before I read your blog) that your name was just initials. Last, I think Peck is the sweetest middle name I've ever heard.