I have a strange last name. And it’s not pronounced the way it looks, which causes added confusion. So I’m used to people mispronouncing my name, and I no longer try to correct them. It happens at work all the time. If people get it vaguely right, that’s good enough for me.

But it seems that I may be going about things all wrong. According to certain career experts, your name is your “brand,” so it’s important for people to get it right. In addition, if people consistently mispronounce your name, the mispronunciation will get deeply ingrained in their minds and be hard for them to correct later.

So what should you do if someone mispronounces your name? Well, it kind of depends on how well you know the person…

  • If you don’t know the person very well – Reintroduce yourself. You could say something like, “Hi, we met earlier. My name is Emily Haubensak and I work at JHU.”
  • If you know the person pretty well – Don’t correct the person when there are other people around. Wait until you can talk privately, and then tell the person how your name should be pronounced. Make sure you use the proper tone. Be friendly, rather than annoyed or defensive. No one likes to make mistakes, so the person will probably appreciate the information. Good luck!


Griswold, A. (2013, November 25). The proper way to correct people who mispronounce your name. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/proper-way-to-correct-people-who-mispronounce-your-name-2013-11