Names are a funny thing, it’s essentially the noise someone has to make to attract your attention but we spend a long time thinking up that noise for our children and our own name comes to have great significance for us.
This is me.
My name is Rachael, sometimes people call me Rach and if I tolerate that take it as a compliment as it means I like you! My name is Rachael not Rach or indeed anything else! One university lecturer came on the receiving end of my desire to be called by my name when he attempted to call me Rach and received a sharp “My name is Rachael.” in return (He wasn’t being overly respectful at the time!). While I will tolerate a shortened version of my name I expect you to respect me enough to call me by my full name if I request it.
I feel it’s important to afford a similar respect to carriers. For years we’ve said “onbu”, “pod” but the people whose language it is have asked that we don’t shorten their names as, well, to be frank, it doesn’t make sense in the original language! Not a problem says I, Rachael (not Rach), Obuhimo (Ohn-bu-he-mo) and Podaegi (Poh-deh-gee) it is!
Similarly for mei tais, the words don’t reflect what it actually is and what it’s actually called and so make little sense. Instead a more correct version is Bei Dai (Bay Dye) or Meh Dai (Meh Dye). At the library we’re going to go with Bei Dai. It’s a little trickier when it’s comes to names of specific products that have the word “Tai” in it, in order to make sure that you do know which products to buy we’ll continue to use the name the manufacturer has given for each item.
It shouldn’t mean a huge change for anyone, just an effort to remember to call something by it’s actual name!