Have any questions? Feel free to ask me!

  1. How do you pronounce your name?
  2. Why do you want to be called JJ?
  3. What’s with the baby harp seal?

How do you pronounce your name?

My first name is one of the most common names of girls born in the mid-80s, so you can probably figure that out. My last name is pronounced pretty much as it’s spelled: dʒé- dʒónz. I would like to note that my surname is hyphenated, so both Jae and Jones are equally important parts of my last name. My last name is not Jones, nor is my middle name Jae; my last name is Jae-Jones. (My middle name is Hyun, for those who are curious.)

Why do you want to be called JJ?

I’ve never really liked my first name all that much. (Sorry, Mum and Dad.) As a kid on the playground, I was one of the only girls who couldn’t turn her name into some cutesy derivative; e.g. Amanda into Mandy, Pamela into Pammy, Carolyn into Carrie, Anastasia into Stacy, etc. It’s pretty hard to nickname Sarah that way. Sally and Sadie are both nicknames for Sarah, and while I lobbied hard to get my parents to call me by either one of those names, neither one stuck.1

But the worst part of being named Sarah was just how ubiquitous that name was for girls of my age group. I was one of many Sarahs in a given class, and I hated that I never knew if I should respond if someone called it out. Owing to the popularity of Sarah as a name in the mid-80s, my freshman roommate in college was also named Sarah, at which point, both she and I threw up our hands and chose other monikers. She changed her name to Eliza; I went by JJ.2 (Ten years later, I’d be living with another Sarah in New York City. Oh yes, we Sarahs are legion.)

I’ve been JJ for over ten years, so it’s pretty hard for me to respond to anything else now. :)

What’s with the baby harp seal?

What? I happen to like baby harp seals, okay? Plus, her name is White-Harp, as she would kindly have me remind you.

  1. My dad does call me a variety of names other than my given one, including Gertrude, Knucklehead, and Killer. I answer to Gertrude more often than not, actually.
  2. A nickname bestowed upon me by my high school English teacher. It was initially “The Great Miss Jae-Jones” before it was shortened to “The Great Miss JJ” and then finally just “JJ”.