Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed for Man United this summer – and has since become Premier League’s ultimate spelling and pronunciation challenge. The surname of the new midfielder goes straight to the top of the average fan’s “impossible-to-spell” list. Without looking at the letters, how do you spell Henrikh Mkhitaryan?
If Man. U’s new Armenian playmaker becomes a success at the club, there’s no doubt many United fans will be forced to learn how to say his name.
If you’re important, people will learn to say your name. Never mind those who can’t be bothered to spell or pronounce your name right now. It is probably because you are not important to them. Today, millions of Manchester United fans, a countless number of TV and radio pundits, newspaper journalists and many others are learning how to spell and pronounce Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
You might have heard about a guy called Jabez. A name which means sorrowful. “His mother had named him Jabez, saying, ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’” Look him up in the Bible, 1 Chronicles 4:9
Can you imagine, if he had attended the kind of school you went to? Whenever he passed by, people would call out – “Hey! Mr Sorrowful!” Some might say “Here comes Mr Trouble, or there goes Mr Sadness.”
George Carlin, in his book, Brain Droppings, said “there are women named Faith, Hope, Joy, and Prudence. Why not Despair, Guilt, Rage, and Grief? It seems only right. ‘Tom, I’d like you to meet the girl of my dreams, Tragedy.’ These days, Trajedi.”
What’s my name?
Don’t let anyone misspell or mispronounce your name. Not unless you think your name has no meaning. When your name is no longer relevant you become a number. That’s why people who are incarcerated are called by number.
In his very first press conference, immediately after signing for Manchester United, Henrikh Mkhitaryan decided to teach the media and fans how to say his name. He said, “in Almania you pronounce it as MAC-E-Taryan, and in English you say Mic-E-Taryan.”
Your name is powerful. Whether taken from a parent or grandparent. It doesn’t matter if it reminded them of a Saint, or even a musician or sports person, your name conveys your parents’ dreams, expectations and aspirations of whom you could be. Your name defines who you are. It can inspire, instruct or motivate you. Your name could remind you of your cultural heritage, roots potential, and a bright future. And if it is a bad name like Jabez, it can limit, accuse, or put you in a cage.
Don’t let anyone abuse your name. Danny Shittu, Remember him? The Nigerian footballer who played for Millwall and Queens Park Rangers. During his tenure, a few years ago, the fans called him Danny Shit. I don’t think that would stick well on him.
Łukasz Fabiański was a Polish goalkeeper who made a few mistakes during his time at Arsenal. Fans often call him Łukasz Flappy-Hand-Ski. Lukasz is now no longer with Arsenal. He is now a brilliant goalkeeper, and he represented and helped his country – Poland in the last European Nations football competition.
He was very impressive at the competition, but some commentators still thought he was not good enough. Did you know why? It’s because stereotyping doesn’t necessarily dictate future behaviour, but it does provide a spring-board for making assumptions about a person. When some people think of Lukasz, they probably think of Flappy-Hand-Ski.
Don’t ever let anyone distort your good name. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favour is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1
Your name is your identity.
When Adam named every creature, the Bible says “…and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.” Genesis 2:19. In other words, the animal or plants took the shape, characteristics and nature of whatever name they were called by Adam.
Your name shapes your identity. That’s why we aspire to live up to our names. Your name is a crucial factor in developing your sense of self worth, and as a result helps to propel you forward on various paths of your life and ambitions.