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My mother is Swedish. As in ‘born and raised in Sweden‘ Swedish, not ‘my great-great-great-grand cousin twice removed was from Sweden‘ Swedish. English is not her native language and she didn’t learn it until she came over here in her mid-20s. As a result of this, she has an accent (which, oddly enough, I can’t hear but am assured by everyone who meets her that she does have one) and sometimes she pronounces words kind of .. wrong.

Recently, she was telling me about a childhood neighbor of mine. When he was a little kid busy crushing Dixie-cups of water against his forehead during soccer practice, he went by ‘Danny’. Now that he is a fancy grown-up with a PhD, he is ‘Daniel’.

Or, if you were to believe my mother, ‘Danielle’.

'I will crane kick you in the face if you call me 'Danielle' one more time!!' -- Daniel-san from Karate Kid

The conversation went something like this:

Mom: Danny did an interview with so-and-so recently. Actually, he’s Danielle now. He doesn’t go by Danny anymore.

Me: Don’t you mean Daniel?

Mom: That’s what I said! Danielle.

Me: No, it sounds like you are saying Danielle. It’s (pronounced slowly) Daniel.

Mom: Danielle.

Me: Daniel.

Mom: Danielle.

Me: Maybe you should just stick to calling him Danny.