What’s in a Name?

I received this email from my brother Richard:

We discovered a new way to misspell “Heyduck” tonight. On the music program tonight [his daughter] was listed as “… Hoyoleuka.” Have you seen that one before?

Hoyoleuka? Really?  That’s a new one.

We don’t get many new ones.  We mostly get variations on hay-duck, hi-duke, hey-duke, or even hey-doo.

When people ask me to spell my last name, I usually say “h… e… y… duck.”  It’s faster.  I honestly have no idea how many different ways I’ve heard it pronounced (correct is “hi-duke”).

Should I?  Should I keep track of the variations?  Should I at least try and insist that people learn my name and say it correctly?

My mom reminded me the other day of the time when I was 5 or 6 and had not moved with the rest of my Sunday School class on promotion Sunday.  Turns out they called some kid named “hay-duck.”  I just stayed and played.

Sometime between 5 or 6 and 45 I got over noticing the difference in how people say my last name.  I figured if it is close enough for me to recognize as they might be talking to me, I go ahead and answer.

I don’t think I would answer to “Hoyoleuka.”  Is that Polynesian?

I have argued for many years that just because people use the same 3 letter word for a supreme being – “god” – that doesn’t mean they are all referring to the same being. I stand by this.  As I understand it, the God we follow and serve is identifiable fairly clearly by our scriptures.  If your god doesn’t match this description, I don’t think it is presumptuous of me to ask why you would think we might be referring to the same god.

On the other hand, I would imagine that if I am gracious enough to respond to you whether you get my name exactly right, then God is far more gracious than I and will certainly respond whether or not you or I get the reference or pronunciation exactly right.

One thought on “What’s in a Name?

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