RBM has a funny am-I-losing-it? post (not that losing it is funny; well, I guess it's kind of funny), and one of the things she mentions as evidence is having accidentally called me Stewart on her blog. The deal, however, is that she's not losing it, or at least having called me Stewart instead of Spencer is no sign of it, because people call me Stewart all of the time. I'm not joking: all. of. the. time.
(I know, I know: I should have written "people call me metastewart instead of metaspencer all of the time," but that has yet to happen.)
There are currently, for instance, two senior colleagues who I work with who refer to me as Stewart on a regular basis. "Hi Stewart," they say as they pass me in the hallways. And it's not one of those things that just happened once, say right when I started the job. Two years into the job and just a couple of weeks ago one of these fine folks called me Stewart right in front of the main department office. I start to wonder if, when tenure-time come around, if they'll know to discuss the right case?
But this is nothing new. When I worked at Portland State University, back in the '90s, a person I worked very closely with also called me Stewart. She'd say "Hey Stewart" and then, after the first year or so, catch herself and feel horrible about it. Every now and then she'd come down to my office and ask "Did I call you Stewart again earlier? Why do I keep doing that!?!"
Which is a very good question. Stewart and Spencer kind of sound alike, they kind of look alike, and they're both generally British-sounding, but why is it that no one every calls me Stanley or Sydney or Stephen? I have never once been called Simon. It's always Stewart, and I've come to the conclusion that it's not any of these Stewart-callers' faults for calling me Stewart, but instead that my name just happens to exist at some kind of (warning: highly technical term approaching) glitch.point in our software.
Knowing next to nothing about cognitive linguistics and the mechanics of recall, I still want to say that at least some portion of us seem to misfile Spencer and, as a result, consistently end up pulling up Stewart when we go looking for Spencer. Isn't this weird? Does this happen to anyone else with such regularity?
Heading off to register metastewart.com ...