“I love my name,” says Katharine Weber, an author originally from New York City. “My name feels like an essential part of me and it suits me utterly, including the slightly abnormal part of it.”
In 1955, the year Katharine was born, her name was the 440th most popular baby name in the United States. More popular than Katharine, though, was Katherine, which ranked 65th. (Today the gap is even more pronounced: in 2006, Katharine ranked 906th and Katherine 36th.)
Katharine says the second a in her name “makes a world of difference to me, but is apparently invisible to others”:
[My name] gets spelled wrong as often than it gets spelled right. […] It gets “corrected” to Katherine quite often when I know I spelled it right for the material at hand. Having a name with a slightly nonstandard spelling is a chronic reminder of how careless people can be, how often people get the details that are right in front of them just a little bit wrong and never notice. Almost a third of my reviews over the years have had my name spelled Katherine throughout. Or even Catherine.
And then there’s the issue of whether or not to correct misspellings:
If I ask for a correction this makes me a fussbudget. If I don’t, this means you might search for something and not find it, plus I have the ignominiousness of walking around with a name tag spelled wrong, or reading a review with my name spelled wrong, or even seeing a foreign edition of one of my novels with my name spelled wrong.
Misspellings aside, though, Katharine has a great affinity for her name:
I think it is aesthetically very pleasing. I like that Katharine Hepburn spelled it this way. I am also named for my maternal grandmother — Katharine Swift — and that is immensely meaningful.
Thanks so much, Katharine!