Google solves my problem

15 November 2006
6:51 PM

Spelling my last name has always been somewhat problematic, not so much for me, but for other people. I even have trophies from soccer and baseball teams (back from when I was young and you got a trophy just for showing up to most of the games) with my name misspelled. The problem arises, I think, because there are some —bergs spelled with an ‘e,’ like me and the kind that sank the Titanic, and other —burgs spelled with a ‘u,’ like the ones we get from cows and eat. It’s a legitimate mistake. I think the problem is that Greenberg sounds easy enough to spell, so people just give it their best shot. Sometimes I wished I had my mother’s maiden name, which I won’t give you here because then you’d probably go open a bank account in my name. Suffice to say it is Italian and almost unspellable, so no one would ever think he could spell it without looking for it somewhere.

At one point, I even considered registering as well to cover the possibility of typos. That was back in the internet days of yore, though, when it cost $35 a year to register a domain instead of the $6 it costs today, so I discarded the idea as untenable. I’m pleased to report that Google has recently made the problem mostly a nonissue, at least in the online world. Now, if you search for my name spelled incorrectly, you’ll see the following:

Did you mean?

You see some results, but Google helpfully asks, “Did you mean Ryan Greenberg?” Why, yes I did.