Conversing with Alice

Random person at a non-ELIS meeting: Hi, you’re from…


Random person: Sorry?

Me: ELIS (shows Friends of ELIS card– which is a great card! Sign up for it here!)

Random person: (looking at the card) Oh. You’re from Ee-lis! Why didn’t you say so?

Me: It’s ‘air-lis’.

Random person: Oh okay. So… you’re Alice from Ee-lis?

Me: Nooo… I’m Al.. no… I mean, I’m Genevieve from ELIS.

Random person: From where?


Random person: (looking confused) but you said…

Thinking that the five-minute conversation was taking four minutes longer than it really should have, I point to the Friends of ELIS card again.

Me: We pronounce it as ‘air-lis’. Like Ellis Island?

Random person: Ah. Okay. But it does look like it should be pronounced ‘Ee-lis’.

Me:True. But I guess it’s an acronym, and we’ve decided to pronounce it this way. It’s phonetically correct, anyhow. It’s not like we’re RYHBT and decided that we should be called ‘Jason’.

Random person: Why don’t you guys just make it easier and call yourselves ‘ee-lis’? It’s easier to say.

Me: Really? Yah, I guess it’s easier because you don’t have to open your mouth as much.

Random person: It’s like the name ‘Elizabeth’. Is it Ee-liza-berth? Or Air-liza-beth?

Me: Or maybe you could even say ‘Ill-liza-berth!’ I should understand, I guess. People have been pronouncing my name in all kinds of ways ever since I can remember. Gee-nee-vee, January, John-ner-vee…

Random person: (laughs) Okay, see you around then, Alice!

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