Today in the Tribune, an article appeared about a case of mistaken identity. Troy Read Critchfield is often mistaken as Troy Reed Critchfield. Right now you're thinking, "names are pretty common, it's not a big deal." Well, here's the problem. Troy Reed Critchfield is an infamous murderer and rapist while Troy Read Critchfield is an LDS father of four.
This article got me thinking of how slight discrepancies in spelling can change a meaning. On a small scale, I have been confused with different Zoes that attend Judge. An easy way to tell us apart on paper is one is named Zoe, the other Zoey, the other Zoë and the last on Zoe. You can also spell Zoe like Zooey or Zoé or Zoie or Zöe. Each of these spellings are different people and different names. Other common words that are confused are the classic witch/which and loose/lose and their/there/they're. Any teacher will tell you that getting these words mixed up can mean the different between a pass and flail. I mean fail.
Troy Read Critchfield has had many problems in his life because of his name including credit mix ups, angry phone calls and posts, social security mix ups and general bad reactions when people hear his name. This burden of a name is something a lot of people share. Today I realized that wether/whether it's being confused in school, receiving an incorrect phone call or having a name with a dour meaning, names help define a person and how they live their life.