Here’s to all those with long Polish Names
This post is for all for those poor Americans who have suffered their entire lives with long Eastern European last names. We have finally gotten our due. We are exacting our revenge from those Smiths and Joneses who have never had their names butchered by well-meaning teachers and employers who can’t pronounce five consonants in a row. Huh, those mere mortals think they are intelligent. No longer will fourteen-letter surnames be relegated to mangled obscurity. In fact, this reminds me of a politically incorrect, yet horribly astute, joke. Bob says, “Hey Ron, can you speak Polish?” Ron replies, “No”. Bob laughs and continues, “How does it feel to be dumber than a Pollock.”
Now, before you good people around the world accuse me of nationality shaming and stereotyping, and take off to read other blogs, pet your dogs, or even do less important stuff like go to the market, I want to say, very clearly, that some of my best friends have names like Burke and Webster. I certainly would never insult them or make them feel bad in any way because of their names. I have lots of other reasons to make fun of them. Also, I am of Polish descent so the tasteless joke was aimed at me and no one else. Therefore, I can say with all truth, as fondly as I feel for those friends, they have never felt the heartache of a middle school teacher calling attendance like this:
James Stan… Stamo… No Stang… STjfghfghfghfffhjgfhjgfhjf… No, that’s not right…
Please stop! I’m here!!
You Have suffered enough
And it’s not just teachers. We, the long-named citizens of the USA, have become the kings of brevity on restaurant waiting lists. Maître’ D’s just won’t accept, seat, or even attempt to say, “Kryczyncjofski party of four.” Consequently, we voluntarily shorten our identities to, “Kriz.” In a world where many are searching to expand their horizons and worldly selves by combing through their DNA, we hide our proud heritage, simply because nobody can pronounce it. Besides they’re still probably all laughing at us, because frankly, who actually has a name like Kriz? They know we’re faking, and I hate it.
Well, I say, “No More!” And once again, technology has proven to be the sunshine of the new dawn of our reckoning. Computers, and people’s reliance upon them, have made our lives easier and yours more difficult. Neener neener!! “How?” you may ask. It is in the very core of our computer lives, our email accounts and passwords.
But you time has come
I say to you, Bob Jones, “What is your email username?” I’m sure it is something like, ‘firstname.lastname@example.org.’ Perhaps Mike Smith would like to share? Is yours anything like, ‘mikesmith_78_46_241_hut1hut2@Iwishthiswasshorter.com? Your simple names are just too common. So many folks have them, and there can only be one username to a platform, therefore you have to get creative on what you call yourself. We Americans of Eastern European heritage just use our first initial and last name, i.e. email@example.com. Simple, yet effective.
When it comes to computer passwords, life is even easier. While you short-namers are trying to come up with the perfect combination of random characters and remember-ability, we just look back to dear old uncle Delphus. It’s super easy, because our family names have characters random enough to qualify as complex passwords, and only we know how to spell them. When it comes to the fact that internet security dictates passwords need to be changed regularly, the advantage goes to us again. As family trees in America are getting smaller, due to a lower birth rate, our old families, with ten children each, have lots of strange names with hundreds more outlandish variations, making the choices virtually endless. It’s even better because there’s not a ‘Bob1234’ in the bunch.
Your whole heritage is valuable
“Ah ha,” you may say, “I see a flaw in your system.” You might think that, but being a considerate person, raised by two fine Polish and German parents, I will let you think your incorrect thoughts. Go ahead say them now, “Work passwords need to be changed every ninety days, and they can’t be similar to the last five passwords. Therefore, before long, even you long-namers will have to resort to underscores, random numbers, strange capitalizations, and symbols just like the rest of us.” Go ahead, take a few minutes to gloat, I’ll wait. I have plenty of time before I tell you just how wrong you are.
The truth is, I’ve only been talking about our names. Our food is equally hard to spell and pronounce, and therefore makes equally good passwords. We have spaetzle, and paprikash, not forgetting the ever-popular pierogi. There is also clothing like the babushka, which is scarf, spodnie that’s just pants, and lots of other things even I can’t spell. So many things in fact, that you short-namers should take note. You should all make friends with a Polish-American. They could teach you words and spellings that no hacker or identity thief in this country could ever figure out. Haven’t you ever wondered why Kaspersky Labs provide some of the finest internet security software? It’s easy: no one can spell the words they use.
I’m not trying to take away from others
I know that there are some of you more jealous types who are still arguing. Well, I must give credit where credit is due. I’ve only been talking about the Eastern European names. Yes, I concede that recently Americans have made a startling move to naming their children all sorts of strange things. I blame this phenomenon on the TV show Bewitched. In 1966 this show gave us the first name of Tabitha. Immediately millions of little girls with extremely uncreative parents were donned with the moniker, Tabitha. And yes, it would have qualified for a good password or username, had computers been around back then. The only issue I see here is as time moved into the computer age, so did the practice of coming up with new and ever stranger names for your children.
I have spoken to my children about this, so I can say with confidence that these children with odd names have just as much, if not more, trouble with teachers pronouncing their names. Therefore, these poor unfortunates, with names like Tonawonda Smith, have my sympathy. I’m convinced they have had as much trauma as we did so many years ago. The easy Smith has been successfully cancelled out. I am equally convinced their parents hate them or perhaps they were a very painful pregnancy. Either way, it is also true they can use their strangely spelled names as high security passwords. So, I believe they have paid their dues, and I welcome them into this elite club of long-namers. With all the benefits and tragedies as previously described. Also, you did it without an Uncle Dauker. So, kudos to you
But those with easy names are in trouble
If you wish to keep arguing go right ahead, but face it: we have already suffered. Your short named, easily spelled, simple password time is gone. Those of you who don’t know the sting of mispronounced names are faced with a fight in this computer age. Good luck remembering your password, ours are easy.
How about a cup?
Hey everyone, before you go I just need one more minute of your time. Do you like my stuff? If you do, we should get together for coffee. That’s probably not possible so why not buy me a cup of coffee to show how you feel. It’s real easy just click below. Thanks a bunch for reading and listening