December 1, 2009
By Linzy Reinders SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
Linzy Reinders SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Lin-d-say. As a kid I could never understand why words had silent letters or were pronounced differently than they looked. ‘Phonetically’ was my favorite word. This word, like my original name, had silent letters but the meaning was brilliant. Spell words how they sound.

I was challenged in English, but not because of the reading or writing ? I failed spelling tests. My mom forced me to practice the words every night. She would sit me down at the kitchen table and repeat words to me like a robot.
“Because.” She would say.
B-e….I stop. This was the kind of word I knew, but didn’t. And this was not a foreign feeling. That feeling you get when you know a person without knowing them. You know the person’s name and looks but little about them. Yet when people question if you know this person you say yes. I knew the word because; said it, read it- still couldn’t spell it.
“Because.” She’d shout again.
I looked at what I had written, B-e….then I start to sound out the word –k-u-z, then add an ‘e.’ I often added an ‘e’ onto words because it made the word look fancy and finished. Then I would lay my head down on the counter and wait for my mom. She’d glance at my paper like it was garbage. “Nope.”
I didn’t spell it correct until I copied it from the list. When my mom was satisfied with seeing the word on my paper scribbled she would say the next horrific word. “Space,” she would enunciate. This one I knew how to spell. S-p-a-c. With an ‘e’ for emphasis!
Other kids in my grade didn’t know how to pronounce my name when they read it. They would say “Lin-d-sAy?” like it was a question. “It’s spelled like that, but it’s pronounced LIN-Z!” Since I couldn’t change my name I decided to change how it was spelled. I needed to be outstanding--different!

I tried unusual spellings and became creative. Lindsey, Linsey, Linsay, Lynsey, Lin-z, Linzy, Lynsy. I used a new one every day. I decided it was going to be changed to ‘Lin-z’ or ‘Linzy’. Lin-z made more sense phonetically, but Linzy looked more complete with the ‘y’.

When I told my mom my final decision, she liked the idea and the way it was spelled. I was surprised—but not going to question it. From that day on my name would be ‘Linzy’!

When I got to high school people knew me as ‘Linzy’ but the teachers did not. Many were confused and I was investigated often.

In 10th grade I was sick of questions. I wanted my name changed legally. My mom agreed and we made an appointment for court. Yes, I had to go to court! In front of a judge! And witnesses! I had to swear under oath! It was scary. Who knew I would be treated like a criminal for wanting my name spelled creatively.
But after the hassle was over, my name was mine! It is distinctive, special, and I love being different. And when you read it you can pronounce it phonetically! Lin-Z-y

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