There’s a subset of strangers and acquaintances I meet and or interact with out there who — despite all evidence to the contrary — find it perfectly acceptable to call me “Bill.” I find it fascinating. What I also find fascinating is that it’s not a two-way street. If I did go by “Bill” I would bet the odds would be preeeeeeetty long that anyone would auto-default to “Will.”
To me this kneejerk opt-in to an overtly familiar short-version of William is an intriguingÂ paradox because anyone familiar with me knows I don’t cotton to Bill in the slightest, and if you’re not familiar with me why are you going there without even the courtesy of asking my preference or permission to do so?
Does this substitute-B shit happen toÂ the world’s Waldos and Wades and Walters and Warrens and Waynes, Wendells, Wesleys, Winstons, Woodys, Wyatts and Wyntons?
“Hi. How are you, I’m Don Geevadam.”
“Hi, Don. I’m Walt Weethadoubayoo.”
“Pleased to meet you, Balt.”
Halt! Never happened. Never bill — I mean: will.
But it happens to me. And when it does — far more than it should — I am quick to correct, as in this screengrab example below that I’ll leave you with from a Facebook exchange this morning with the Auto Club of Southern California over my disappointment that a new program I was interested in wasn’t available to us because our Ford is a hybrid (slightly enlarged if clicked):