A woman named Leigh (pronounced ‘Lee’ – just to be clear), has posted to Mumsnet asking for some advice.
“My friend has had a baby girl – Anaïs,” she explains.
“Lovely name, but they pronounce it Annay, and not An-eye-ees. I saw it written down before I heard them say it, and said ‘I love the name Anaïs’ to the grandmother (also my friend). She told me that that’s not how it should be pronounced.”
“Should I explain what a diaeresis is for?” she asked the forum.
Well, this is the biggest but also the most important predicament we’ve come across today – so let’s unpack it.
A diaeresis is a mark placed over a vowel, to signal that it is to be sounded out separately, like in the case of naïve.
It is a rule. Not up for debate. And if you’re not a fan of diaeresises then that’s fine. But then don’t make everyone your daughter ever encounters in her whole entire life use it FOR NO REASON.
The name Anaïs is of French origin and some suggest it is derived from the name Anahita, given to the Persian goddess of fertility and healing.
Thus, the name has a long goddamn history. And Leigh’s friend doesn’t get to rewrite the rules.
Listen: Please don’t name your baby Jakxxson. (Post continues below…)
Responses to her post include; “Oo, if someone told me that’s not how you’re supposed to say it, I think I would have to correct them,” and, “Obviously they can pronounce it however they wish, but the poor girl’s in for a lifetime of ‘correcting’ people…”
Won’t somebody please think of the child in this circumstance?
Others think Leigh is being a little bit, well, righteous, and she should just pronounce the name however the parents like.
What do you think? Is that like letting your friend walk around with lipstick on their teeth? Do the parents even know?
Let us know in the comments below…