I introduced myself to Chris Gulker recently and he spotted me as a fellow person- with- first-name- Christian. I said, “Oh, you’re a stealth Christian!” I found growing up that people who remembered my name as Chris eventually got around to calling me Christopher. Plus I just didn’t answer to it. I didn’t think “That’s me,” when I heard someone yell “Chris!”
In high school I knew an Irish kid named Christian who was called Christy (pronounced kristy). I thought that was an elegant solution. My grandfather dropped Christian and referred to himself as Tom, C. Thomas Spitznas. (Christian is a name more common among Scandinavians and Germans, and Grampy lived through two wars in which the Germans were the enemy.) Christian Spitznas (loosely “Goodman Pointynose”) was just too much of a sauerkrauty wienerschnitzel frankfurter of a mouthful. Better to be Tom.
I wore my long improbably name like a badge of honor when I was a dorky kid. (“Maybe you should go back to the nerd committee,” said Mal last night when I joking suggested “Voting is Fun” as the name of East Bay for whatever Dean’s For‘s new VoterSalon plan, since renamed Parties for America.)
I styled myself (then) Christian T. S. Crumlish – I have Grampy’s whole name and my father’s Irish last name – and most people didn’t call me Chris but some always do. They are the people who don’t notice.
I guess if they spelled it chris. and pronounced it “Chris-dot” I could live with that but I settled on my xian handle even before I got online and I’m stuck wth that although people always ask me how to pronounce it and I give a different answer every time but that’s another krinksby story.