Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Surname Fun

I may have mentioned a while ago that people invariably transpose two of the letters in my last name, transforming my heritage from partly Bohemian to partly Hispanic, just like that. The NY Times last week published a study of surnames in America, and included a search form that tells you where your name ranked in the year 2000 and how that ranking has changed since the 1990 census (the point being to highlight the growth in Hispanic surnames).

Okay, so I gave it a whirl with my actual last name, and...

Sorry, the name


was not one of the 5,000 most common surnames
in the nation during the year 2000.

Humph. Well, hell, I thought, let's see how the alternate last name fares. Aha!

214 S**** 47 occurrences per 100,000 people
254: rank in 1990

I bet at least some of those 47 are the result of people with my name having it officially misspelled, going from vice pivo, prosim to mas cerveza, por favor with the stroke of an Ellis Island pen.

In other surname news, my almost-name-doppelganger continues to follow me into the most unexpected places as our lives take eerily similar paths. We already share the same first name, and essentially the same last name given the world's propensity for changing my surname to hers, and the same general practitioner (where I first learned of the other Boltgirl's existence when my doc started rattling off a list of meds she wanted to see if I was still taking, before realizing she was talking to the wrong Boltgirl). Then last month, as I waited to hop onto the cardiologist's table for an echocardiogram, the technician confirmed my birthdate of 10/23/64. Which is in the right decade but otherwise isn't close to my birthdate. Confused, she asked why I was back since I was just there the previous week... which I wasn't. Oh my god, I screamed, she's here too?!? The other Boltgirl had been in for the same test I was about to take. Jesus. I feel like I ought to buy her a beer or something. I've seen more of her medical records than I have of my girlfriend's.

Lesson? Always confirm the birthdate. Spelling the name, spelling it again, correcting the spelling they write down, and correcting the pronunciation doesn't work.

No comments: