Not quite the enda that

Nicely exhausted from TESOL-SPAIN conference in Madrid I cannot resist a slight rant today (I have some more serious posts lined up for later in the week).

Those of you who know me or who have read about me in the WHO link above will know that I am male despite what my name ENDA seems to indicate to most of the world. Enda was originally an Irish Saint (search wikipedia for Saint Enda) or follow this video:

It is most common in Ireland as a name for boys. Outside of Ireland, however, I am always taken to be female. In Spain this has a logic given that a name ending in “a” would be a female name but (and here is the linguistic part of the blog) why do people all over the world insist on presuming it is the name of a woman? Regardless of how clearly I sign an email or letter Mr Enda Scott I invariably get replys to Ms Enda (my Economist subscription comes to this name!) or Ms Edna (because obviously I cannot spell my own name). As I say, despite my best efforts people constantly presume they know my name and sex better than I do … is their a linguistic reason for this? What does it say about error correction?

The good news is that it is not just me! The new prime minister of Ireland is also called Enda. I thought that this might  clear things up for the wider world and make my life easier but apparently not. Read why:


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