And there's been some question lately as to why I pronounce my name wrong, so . . .
Among the reactions to Saturday's introduction to Miss Mrrlees, was Hanah's Dad's peripheral revelation that Robert Silverberg had told him that I pronounce my last name wrong. To which I have three responses.
First of all, how cool is it that Silverbob knows how I pronounce my name? That made me happy for the rest of the day.
Secondly, I pronounce the second W in my name as an act of filial piety. It's the way my father pronounced his name and by the time I learned about the British (or, as they would say in Britain, the "proper") pronunciation of my family name, he was dead and there was nobody I could have asked who might have known how it was changed. My father was a great guy. Every time I use the American pronunciation (or, as they would say in Britain, the "wrong" one), it's a small reminder of him. And it makes me feel happy.
Which said, whenever I'm in England or Scotland, I am careful never to correct people who pronounce my name properly. Dad wouldn't have either.
And thirdly, it's not at all certain the American pronunciation is the wrong one. The first time I went to Scotland, I discovered that in the south my name was pronounced "swannick" but that in the north it became "swanwick" again. So it all depends on where my ancestors came from and how that particular moniker got hung on them. Alas, like most Americans, I have almost no knowledge about my ancestors at all. The family Bible was stolen sometime during the Great Depression. While the family was at my great-grandmother's funeral, I believe. That sort of thing happened a lot in New York City.
That's the medium-length explanation. If you want the long one, try buying me a beer and asking me about Orkney. The short explanation is: Yes, I pronounce my name wrong, because it's the way I was brought up to pronounce it. But I don't mean anything bad by it, and I acknowledge that the British pronunciation is almost certainly the correct one.