Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Lencho Reyes?

If you wonder why my Google name is lenchoreyes, here it is:

First, in my ongoing quest to miss every great development, I totally blew off my brother when he offered an invitation to a beta of this "gmail" thing. So I missed my chance to be

When I finally got around to signing up for all things Google, all variants of my name were taken. So I used one of my Spanish pseudonyms.

"Lencho" is short for "Lorenzo", which is the Spanish equivalent of "Lawrence". So "Lencho" would be "Larry".

"Reyes" is a real Spanish surname that literally means "Kings". When I was first traveling in Central America, the way to make long distance calls home was to go to a telephone company office, write up a little paper form, then sit in a stuffy waiting room for an hour or so until an operator connected your call and called your name. I missed a few calls because someone massacred the pronunciation of my name (for some reason, "Reid" is hard to read for Central Americans which is funny, because "reid" is actually a word in the Spanish spoken in Spain).

At the same time, I figured out that when I said my surname to people, and tried to make it "Spanish" so they could spell it, their brains would translate what they were hearing to "Reyes", because that's the closest surname they could think of to match the sounds I was making. So I just started writing my name as "Lorenzo Reyes" on the phone company form, and I never missed another long distance call.

1 comment:

Andrew McKinlay said...

I had wondered about that, but never got around to asking. Thanks for the explanation!

"Andrew", "Shelley", and "McKinlay" also seem to be problematic.