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No One Gets Chrissy Teigen's Name Right. She's Not Alone

'Ask about pronunciation when even a little in doubt': Rachelle Hampton
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2018 7:00 PM CDT
Chrissy Teigen poses at the 2017 Revolve Awards at the Dream Hollywood hotel in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP,File)

(Newser) – If you were to pronounce Chrissy Teigen's last name as "Tie-gen," rather than "Tee-gen," there's a good chance she'd correct you, even though you're technically right. As the Lip Sync Battle host and wife of singer John Legend revealed in a Sunday tweet, people have been pronouncing her surname incorrectly for so long that she's just accepted it. While she plans to stick with the erroneous "Tee-gen" pronunciation, per Jezebel, Slate's Rachelle Hampton—whose first name is pronounced "Rae-chel, not Ra-shell"—urges people "to ask about pronunciation when even a little in doubt," seeing a larger issue faced by those with names not of Anglo-Saxon origin.

They "not only have to constantly educate (or adapt, through shortening or anglicizing their names) in a society where non-Anglo names carry negative and often racist associations. They also have to choose whether to expend the extra emotional energy necessary to continually correct people when they repeatedly pronounce their name wrong—a subtle, unconscious sign of disrespect that is hard to articulate and exhausting to face," Hampton writes. Ariana Grande should understand. Last month, the singer revealed that she grew up pronouncing her surname not as "Grawn-day" but "Grand-ee," which she referred to as the "Americanized version," per E! (Read more Chrissy Teigen stories.)

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