Well, it was never going to be easy was it? on the same day in the same column: right next to JONES there was FRANKENSTEIN. It didn’t bode well. Then to be called Rowland with a w! All my life it’s been mis-spelled. I thought e-mail would eradicate the problem: mis-spell the name and the message doesn’t arrive right? No.
‘To firstname.lastname@example.org: Dear Roland . . . .’ I kid you not.
It’s not that unusual a name, but unusual enough. I once arrived on a building site to start a summer job. The foreman did the introductions: ‘I’m Bill, this is Eric, Stan, Bob and Chris.’ I replied, ‘I’m Rowland’. After the third incredulous ‘Pardon?!” I reverted to my first name , TOM, and as a result was welcomed on site every morning for two months by a spirited rendering of ‘The green green grass of home.’!!
Being known by my middle name resulted in other confusions, too. I once applied for a new credit card, specifying ‘T.Rowland Jones’ as my card holder name. After several incorrect cards were delivered – ‘Rowland T Jones” T.Rowland-Jones” – I explained through gritted teeth that I would like the card to read:‘T full-stop blank space Rowland Jones.’ I am sure you can imagine my delight when a card arrived that read: ‘T.(BS) Rowland Jones.”!!!
No: it was never going to be easy . . . . .