“I’m asking for basic respect when I want people to say my name right.”
So, Season 2 of Netflix’s Never Have I Ever recently dropped, which means its star, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, is currently making the rounds promoting the show in every way she can.
And with this promo comes a slew of new people pronouncing — or rather, mispronouncing — her name. So she took to Twitter today in a voice memo to let people know not only how to pronounce her name, but why it matters so much to say a person’s name correctly in the first place.
She said, “Names are so important, and I find that it’s a big part of your identity — it personally is for me. I love my name so, so much. And constantly I get people saying, ‘Oh, you don’t even know how to say your own name right.’ It’s like, ‘No, no, no, I do. I do know how to say my own name right.'”
She continued, “Because reality is, no one knows how to say someone else’s name except for the person themselves, you know? Like, this is my name. I’m sorry, but I get to call the shots here. There is one answer and that answer is my own. There’s no discussion for that.”
She then talked about how she used to accept lazy mispronunciations. “So personally, when I was younger, I used to tell people, ‘Yeah, you can call me My-tree like whatever, I don’t care,’ because I used to think I was inconveniencing them, but I’m not. I’m asking for basic respect when I want people to say my name right, as many of us do, right? Like, we just want our names to be right.”
As Maitreyi has grown, she’s now learned to ask for the respect she deserves. She continued, “But nowadays, being my great, wise, 19-year-old self, I ask people to say my name correctly and I put a lot of active effort whenever it’s like an interview, or, you know, just meeting people in general, like new people. I make sure that they say my name right.”
And after speaking this very important truth, she told the public once and for all how her name should be pronounced. “Yeah, I like to pronounce my name…My-tray-yee Ra-ma-krish-nin.”
She then pronounced it in a Tamil accent, and finished with, “Not expecting people to switch up their accents on me, just asking for basic respect.”
She followed this with a tweet saying many people expected her to change her name to make it “easier,” which was never going to be the case:
And remember, learning how to pronounce a person’s name correctly really isn’t hard at all. So put that little bit of effort in because, as Maitreyi says, names have power.
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