The Truth About My Last Name

People have always said my last name wrong. I guess I don't really blame them-- my last name is More, and the obvious way to pronounce it would simply be the word 'more'.

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Growing up, this inaccurate moniker followed me everywhere I went, to a point where I simply stopped giving the 3-minute explanation that ensued once I had introduced myself. I'd think to myself, as long as I knew how to pronounce my name, everything was good. In a way, I actually liked the simplicity of it all (I wasn't a big fan of how traditional it sounded when pronounced correctly). There was also a great deal of humor that came with my name (cue: 'cuz everyone wants more').

So I let it go on.

Today is the day I will finally put my foot down. I will not let this go on any longer because my name is my identity. I am the name that I have been given. I respond to it. It will follow me around for the rest of my life. It is part of the legacy that I was given by my ancestors, and it will be a part of the legacy that I pass on to my descendants.

It's not just about family, though. As a journalism and international relations student, my name matters because I will build a public profile throughout my career. My opinion will be valued in the industry that I dream of working in. My name will always be a step ahead of me by paving my path to success.

For these reasons, I have decided to clarify my last name to everyone I know. My name is pronounced 'mo-rae', NOT simply the word 'more'. It is almost as if there's an accent on the 'e', like 'Moré'.

My family stems from the long line of Marathas, a group of castes in India that are principally found in the state of Maharashtra (main city: Mumbai).  The Maratha Empire was founded by Chhatrapati (Emperor) Shivaji, an Indian warrior king. Shivaji created a progressive civil rule and perfected military tactics during his time as leader. He brought back Hindu traditions and customs to his empire by encouraging his citizens to speak Marathi (my mother tongue) and Sanskrit.

According to my mother, my last name, 'More', comes from Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya empire and a great emperor. He unified many parts of India and went on to establish major economic and political constitutions. I don't know if I am a direct descendant, but my name certainly is.

The way my name is spelled makes it extremely vulnerable to mispronunciations. For this reason, I decided to slightly change my name from 'More' to 'Moré', and add an accent on the 'e'. That accent will serve to remind not just others but also me about the way my name is pronounced.

At the end of the day, this all may not matter. It may seem petty, unnecessary even. But it makes me feel real and true. And to be very honest with you, that's all I need.

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