What’s Your Starbucks Name?
By Perry Michael Simon on March 4, 2011
Pat Kiernan, the morning anchor at the NY1 cable news channel in New York (and, incidentally, the host of VH1’s World Series of Pop Culture a few years back), is doing something with which anyone who’s a regular at a certain ubiquitous coffee chain will identify. Based on a friend-of-a-friend’s idea, he’s asking people to send him pictures of Starbucks cups with their names butchered by the barista. He’s calling it “Starbucks: Where No One Knows Your Name.”
Now, I can only imagine that not everyone falls victim to name-butchering at Starbucks. They can’t screw up “John” or “Bob” or “Chris,” can they? Maybe they can, but you need to have a name that’s easily misheard to get the real Starbucks Name treatment. A name like, oh, say, “Perry,” which they’ll turn into “Terry,” “Penny,” “Larry,” and practically anything BUT “Perry,” even though I habitually spell it out. Why I don’t just give them “Bob,” I don’t know. But if I go there — good thing I don’t drink coffee, so it’s only for the occasional tea or hot chocolate — I have to listen carefully for whatever name they’ve assigned to me. It’s never actually MY name.
Pat’s first day of viewer/reader submissions include Erica spelled “Ecria” and Phoebe as “Feebe” and “Phobia.” I didn’t know they had an auto-correct problem there. Send him your pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org, but you can also reveal the various Starbucksian manglings of your name in the comments right here.