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Letter X for Xavier

April 30, 2008

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April 2008 NaBloPoMo

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When my husband and I were comparing tastes in baby names, I suggested Xavier (pronounced haa-vee-air) as a name for our son. He said that in Spanish the pronunciation makes the “X” sound like an “S” (saa-vee-air). I didn’t like that pronunciation. Nor did I like the pronunciation of Xavier University, which I think must be the default pronunciation (zaev-yer) in the English speaking world, although I am not sure. What started out as a beautiful name in my mind was quickly becoming difficult to convey and naming my son Xavier would guarantee that he would have to constantly correct the mispronunciations.

We decided to keep the pronunciation that I wanted, but spell it in the traditional way with a “J” so that Spanish speakers at least would know how to say it. But since we live in the United States, we needed to consider how other people would say it. We figured they would probably pronounce the hard “J” and end up saying it incorrectly. Gyaa-vee-air? Ugh, gross. Our compromise was to make Javier (say it with me now: haa-vee-air) his middle name so that not many opportunities to (mis)pronounce it would ever come up in his life. Maybe just when he walks across a stage in a graduation ceremony. As I planned my children’s first, middle, and last names I said them out loud to analyze if they would sound regal when announced by the Master of Ceremonies at graduation (I was imagining the outdoor ceremony at Davidson College, but we’ll see if that is a good fit for either of them or not when the time comes).

The NaBloPoMo badge I’ve put in all my April posts says that I should have 30 posts in 30 days. This one is number 27, so I am behind. I’ve had fun posting this month. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  1. April 30, 2008 10:34 am

    Yeah!!! You did it!!

  2. April 30, 2008 10:36 am

    Well, sort of. I still have 2 letters to go.

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