Helen Everywhere

It recently struck me that I have never had contact with so many people from my name family. As my name family I regard those women carrying the sophisticated names Helene, Helena or Helen. (No, I am not self-absorbed at all here.) One of my bosses is called Helene, one of my volunteers is called Helena, one of our cooperation partners is called Helene and another one Helena. The name means “The radiant one” and I suppose there is a hell lot of shine around us five together. My co-worker and I discussed how to pronounce the names because especially Helene is tricky in Swedish with some people pronouncing the last e and some don’t. Much more difficult is my name – at least for people trying to take my contact details. More or less every time in Germany, I make them aware that Helen is spelled with just one l. The funniest question was the one I got from one hotel dude the other day though: “Helen, do you spell that with a double n?”

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