A few weeks ago I talked about Caitlin Moran in a Sibset post, well we’re back today because I recently read an interview she did, wherein she discussed her own name and how she came to choose it, which I thought was interesting enough to share. She also talks about a familiar pitfall of reading a name before hearing it said aloud first – I had the exact same problem with Imogen many years ago !
You chose your own name, Caitlin, out of a book when you were 13 years old, and pronounced it in an unusual fashion—”Cat-lin.”
It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, and that includes trying to get a wasp stoned and playing chicken on the motorway. Because we didn’t go to school, I went to our local library every day, and after I’d been doing that for about six months I decided that I was going to read every book in the library, section by section. The first section I chose was the paranormal section, because when you’re a teenager, it seems like that’s where they’re hiding all the secrets. I read a book about numerology, where each letter is given a numerical value, and then you add things up to tell the future. I did numerology on my christened name, which was Catherine, and it said I would not be successful. So I spent about six months coming up with all these different names and working out what their value was in numerology until I came across Caitlin Moran, and it was like, “Yes, that one will be successful.” And I was like, “Great.”
But then, because I got the name out of a book, I didn’t know how you pronounced it. I’m literally the only person in the world who pronounces it “Cat-lin.” I feel so embarrassed—I’ve spent all my life trying not get special treatment, so the agony of having a name that everybody pronounces incorrectly and then feels bad about, and then I have to go, “I’m really sorry, that’s not even my name, but you pronounce it this way,” I just feel like it’s the most ridiculous problem that anyone’s ever given themselves. I am such a penis.
See the entire interview here: http://blog.longreads.com/2014/09/25/interview-caitlin-moran-on-the-working-class-masturbation-and-writing-a-novel/