Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Please vote

Okay, here's the thing. When I named my second daughter, I didn't think too long about the spelling of her name. "Aida" was out, even though I like the look of it, because that would be pronounced ah-ee-duh, like the Broadway musical. So I left it as "Ada" figuring nothing could go wrong. Well, this was not to be the case. Apparently, my fellow Jews have reading issues. Non-Jews seem to have no problem reading her name correctly as ay-duh. It's the Jewish people, or, more specifically, the frum (whatever that means to you) people I meet who assume the name should be pronounced ah-duh. There is the option of spelling it "Ayda", although I'm not sure I like how that looks. (A friend of mine jokingly suggested "Ayduh" so there's no confusion.) Now, should I ignore those illiterates and keep the spelling as is or should I spare her a lifetime of correcting every Jewish teacher during roll call on the first day of school?

What do you think, Ada or Ayda?

11 comments:

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Layah said...

Great blog Ayelet! I know - it is annoying when babies without hair wear headbands. As far as Ayda/Ada, I like y's in names - try it and see if you can get used to it. People have always called me Lie-uh and it would have been much easier if my parents had spelled it Leah.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Your friendly neighborhood linguist supports Ayda. The problem with Ada is that there's a rabbi in the Gemara named Ada ("ah-dah") bar Ahava (yup that's as in "love").

Ayda should be clear to both monoglot English speakers/readers as well as people used to funky Jewish transliterated-from-Hebrew names.

tuesdaywishes said...

I'm so excited to meet another (almost) Laya! And yes, people always pronounce it Lie-ah. Which really does make sense, because one of my daughters is Chaya (Chai-ah) and her classmate is Maya (My-ah)...But I do know a woman named Ada and I wasn't sure how to pronounce it when I met her. I'd spell it Ayda for school, and if it helps you can get it legally changed.

PsychoToddler said...

Well, if you take Ay-tan as an example, you can go with Aytan or Eitan. The latter always looks better to me, but I'm guessing you don't want to change initials. Atan wouldn't work for the same reasons as Ada.

Ayelet said...

PT - The initials are not really an issue but I would pronounce Eida as eye-duh like eider.

Anonymous said...

I like Ayda better!

Anonymous said...

I like Ada best. It looks right. I knew right away it was pronounced Ayda. And, anyway it will be a great conversation starter for her when she's older. What's her hebrew name?

Ayelet said...

That is her Hebrew name! Spelled alef-yud-dalet-alef.

Ari said...

Check out

http://webster.com/dictionary/Ada

and click on the red sound icon to hear how Ada is pronounced.

Like a as in acorn or anal (many words where the "a as as a syllable should sound like its name" have turned into schwas such as against but the brits pronounce it 'correctly')

Ayda would be pronounced like I-da. Ay only sounds like letter A when preceded by another letter such as may and day.


http://webster.com/dictionary/ay

So I vote aye for Ada!

Ari said...

Aida I think would also work because I don't think anyone in her school would think of that musical...