There are websites devoted to bad shortened names, where people publicize to the unsuspecting future parents the unfortunate shortening of a name that can lead to teasing. This teasing is so distressing that normal children will withdraw to the point that their social development is compromised.
Many names, if shortened, are acceptable, sometimes even preferred. Michael becomes Mike, Kristy becomes Kris, Allison becomes Ally, James becomes Jim, and no-one is really bothered. But some otherwise delightful names, when shortened become a source of torture and pain.
April is a very nice name, but no-one ever shortened my name to A nor to Pril. April, when shortened, becomes unpleasant enough that I wanted to legally name in the third grade, but my parents refused to consider any change. The idea that I could have changed to using my middle name never occurred to me, and was never suggested. I was stuck without options.
Not only other children shortened my name, but sometimes teachers, employers, other relatives. Nobody who loved or respected me ever shortened my name. I did have a nickname in middle school, Peanut, and I like that just fine. As I got older I learned how to stop most people from shortening my name. If you call me anything other than my given name, I just don’t answer, because how would I know you are talking to me. Some people for insist I am being over-sensitive. One cousin who insisted upon shortening my name, after the third time and fair warning, got a very small amount of Diet-Cola poured into her freshly styled hair.
I admit pouring cola on someone’s head is not a mature reaction. It would have been better to say my goodbyes, which ultimately and irrevocably has occurred. Saying our goodbyes is the best decision to make when someone refuses to use the name you prefer. If James prefers to be called James, to insist on calling him Jim is disrespectful.
Our name is part of our identity and we have the right to be called what we want. We have the right to demand that respect from everyone. Those who refuse to give us that respect deserve to be left in the dust..