I have been blessed or cursed with an unusual name ‘Klingenberg.’ When I was very young it was certainly a curse. I remember struggling to learn to spell as an infant. I have always found spelling hard and it didn’t help my teacher was very liberal in her use of a ruler!
When I was growing up there was a very popular cartoon called the Clangers. Although not that close to our name it became mine and my siblings nickname at school. It didn’t help my Danish father drove a very distinctive Saba at the time which was christened the clanger mobile.
There was the also the oh so hilarious miss pronunciations. I recall one supply teacher calling the register.
‘KlingenTURD? Are you Chinese or something?’ Oh how we laughed!
Now I am a teacher I have pupils and parents miss-pronouncing it. My favourite mispronunciation is ‘Killingbird.’ I’m thinking of legally changing my name to that. Most give up and refer to me as Mr. K.
It has its advantages thou. I love hearing cold caller’s suddenly hit the wall. ‘Oh hello is that Mr.. er oh .um .. can I call you Eric?’ It total puts them off their stride.
Now I hope to become an author I’m quite proud of it, at least I’m not going to be confused with another. Well at least I thought I wouldn’t be until I discovered two others. Ones writes maths books the other cello music – phew safe on both counts unless my hero takes up a string instrument, well you never know. There is always Klingenturd no authors by that name.