Dear World at Large,
I understand that there has been some question as to how I pronounce my name. The spelling seems to throw people off, and in a world full of children who are presumably named according to whatever syllables their mother uttered during their birth, it seems a valid concern. What I don’t understand is the complete disregard for common human logic when it comes to this issue.
My name is Chelsea. It is pronounced “CHEL-see.” It is not an uncommon word as there are towns named Chelsea in many seaside cities. I do not pronounce is in a strange way; it is phonetic. The word “seaside”, which I wrote one sentence ago is pronounced “see-side”; no one would argue with that.
In addition to this word being found in many a seaside town both in America and abroad, it is also a name that has been around for years. I know many girls spell their names “Chelsee” or “Chelsie” or “Chelsey”, but those are all derivatives. My spelling is the original. It’s not weird. Chelsea Thayer Wayne, Chelsea Noble, Chelsea Clinton and (though I hate to be associated with her) Chelsea Handler all spell their names this way. Oh, and a little organization called the Chelsea Football Club does as well.
I say all of this to say: the name Chelsea is pronounced “CHEL-see”. It is not pronounced “CHEL-see-AH”. If someone pronounces it that way, they are the anomaly, not me. My name is old; it has always been pronounced in this manner. If someone chooses to deviate from this standard, that is fine, but I should not have to constantly explain my name as a result of the naming shenanigans that go on in this country.
So, please, when trying to pronounce someone’s name, think about where you’ve seen it before, consider the phonetics of the spelling and go with what is logical. “CHEL-see-AH” is never a logical guess. Really.
My brain thanks you for making an attempt to actually use logic in this.
P. S. To the supervisor who calls me “Chels-a”: I only let you do this because you called me by my actual name for an entire year before switching to that derivative.