Who The Heck Are You Callin’ “Bill!?”

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 intriguing  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 to  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):

aaa

 

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Will

Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."