What's in a name? In my case, apparently, it's a T most people forget.

That's not just a famous line from the Bard. I'm a rose by another other name, and I do smell as sweet. But that doesn't mean I don't get chapped when people misspell my name. That pesky "silent t" may not mean much when you're saying my name, but it means a lot to me when you spell it. (BTW, it does change pronunciation en France). Without that T, it's not me.

Now, these aren't just the ramblings of a woman with a "funny" name. There's tons of research that shows the importance of relationships in business. Relationships impact trust, respect and attention to detail. And all those things factor into our ability to retain employees, hold onto valuable vendors and suppliers, and close the deal. Talk about bottom-line impacts. So it's no surprise to me that Jim Shumaker, my esteemed news-writing prof at UNC, would give you an automatic F on your assignment if you misspelled someone's name. It's that important, people!

I've got a client right now who always leaves the T off my name. ALWAYS. And even though he's a perfectly nice person, I have to admit that I think less of him for perpetually misspelling my moniker. It's not like he doesn't see it in my email signature at least once a day. Or on my business card. Or on my invoices. *Sigh*

An honest mistake, one time, is forgivable, especially with a non-standard spelling like mine. But repeated errors aren't.

The image above is a scan of a piece of notepaper I've held onto since high school. A new friend, Boo Tyson, misspelled my name one time and felt so bad about it, she scrawled my name all over a piece of paper and added the T. I suppose it was the equivalent of writing it 100 times on the blackboard. Anyhow, it's something I cherish, because it shows she cared enough about me (and still does) to get my name right.

Proof carefully, my friends. And when in doubt, check it out.