Monday, 3 March 2014

I don't want to make a fuss but... it's Benet!

 My Grandfather, Rosendo Benet, and 'Elizabeth Bennett'
The chair of a panel once introduced me as Emily Benetton. I didn't want to come across as difficult so I let it pass. Benetton isn't too far off my real name anyway; just a case of you say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to. Being referred to as Joan however, by a fellow panelist, was more like you say po-tay-to, I say detached bungalow in Aberystwyth. But I didn't correct them either. 

The experience got me thinking about whether I should start setting the record straight about how my name is actually pronounced. Most people assume it is like Bennett, as in Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice, which sounds like BEN-IT. Other people think it's French and opt for calling me BEN-EY. The thing is, it is neither Bennett or Beney. Neither English nor French. My surname is Catalan, passed on to me by the great Antonio Benet Pujol aka my Dad, passed on to him by the great Rosendo Benet Boixedras (pictured above). 

How do you pronounce it? Well, imagine you're half way saying But... then decide to say Net. Now put the emphasis on Net. Buh-NET. Oh dear, I don't think that's very clear. I'll have to make a recording and then you'll think I'm really self-obsessed. 

You see, that's why I never bother correcting people when they pronounce my name wrong. Does it matter? Well, it is my name and I have had it for 30 years. I just think if I don't started correcting people now, it'll be too late. But you know, if it's too much trouble, I suppose Joan Benetton will do.

NB. My Mum has just informed me she used to explain it like this: 'it's like cigar, cigarette... bun, bunette!'


Anonymous said...

I like your Mum's explanation! I know someone called Karin - no one can get it first time unless she says 'Karin, like Car In the garage'.

Emily Benet said...

Yes, good job I put it in because my explanation was pretty poor! I like Karin's 'catch phrase', she just needs a logo now!
Thanks for reading :)

Lindsay said...

Oh dear, now I feel terribly guilty for having introduced you as Emily BENet(t) at Greenacre Lit Fest. Sorry, Joan.

Helen Barbour said...

I sympathise. Names are a blooming nuisance. I've spent my life spelling and re-spelling my surname and explaining it's 'like the green waxed jacket, not the hairdresser', all to no avail... And it doesn't help that my middle name is Elisabeth, instead of the more traditional Elizabeth - Mum admits to a bit of an (accidental) French moment.

Helen Barbour said...

Oh, and I never say 'Helen Barbour' when answering the phone, as 9 times out of 10, the response is 'Hello, Barbara...'

Emily Benet said...

Ha, Lindsay, or shall I call you Maggie? It was surely my fault for not telling you how it's pronounced.

Helen, now I'm confused about how your name is pronounced! It's not like the Barber, so it's like Barboor? You need a catchphrase! X

india flint said...

After the first lifetime under a complex German name with thirteen letters (which I was able to rattle off phonetically...Sierra Charlie hotel whiskey echo etc) I am now known to the whirled as india Flint....india like the country, flint as is tones that strike sparks.

It works for me.