Why is my name so difficult for you to understand?

Dear Dry Cleaner Lady,

You seemed intelligent enough, so I’ll put this gently. It’s Jordan. I used to get Jordon a lot. I’ve gotten used to that one. I know the girl on American Idol spells it Jordin. Heck, the girl working at the grocery store spells it Jordyn. My great grandma made me a piggy bank when I was born and spelled my name Jorden.

And yet, it’s Jordan. Like in the Bible. And the River Jordan. And the sovereign state. It’s been in the top 100 most popular girls’ names for 18 years (top 100 boys’ names, 25 years). Better yet, the English form is from the Latin Jordanus. LATIN. Do you know how old that language is? Yeah, it’s thousands of years old. Spelled with an a.

So, for future reference, it’s probably safe to assume that it’s spelled Jordan, no matter what happens on American Idol.


Dear One Third of the People I Have to Introduce Myself To,

Jorda? You seriously thought I said my name was Jorda? What is that, some sort of speech-impaired version of Georgia? JordaN. N. Now I don’t even care what vowel the lady at the dry cleaner used; this is a major consonant here! In fact, it’s an entire syllable of my name that you didn’t even come close on.

Did you get bored halfway through my terribly long and uninteresting name and decide to tune me out? I know it does take nearly one second to say my name. I apologize.

The thing that really baffles me is that I don’t say ‘Jorda-n’ and you’re just missing the last part. If I’m really honest, I think this is how I say my name:


That question-mark-looking-thing isn’t a vowel; it’s a glottal stop. (It’s the non-vowel sound in ‘Uh oh.’) It means that I cease to vibrate my vocal chords. It’s the opposite of a vowel. And then I go straight to the ‘n.’ No vowels in the second syllable.

Maybe you are Catalan. If that’s so, you must already know that Jordà is Catalan for Jordan. That must be it.

I speak English. Jordan.