Growing up with an unfortunate last name is never fun, especially when it could be interpreted as a "dirty" or "naughty" word. You make your elementary school friends nervous because they don't even want to say your last name for fear of being put in a time out.
When you get older, that's when the real ridiculing begins. Kids will take your name and find all sorts of ways to destroy you and your family tree. No one cares that you had no choice in your last name, all they care about is that it makes them laugh, regardless of your mental anguish.
You'd think that when you got older people would mature and laugh less at your name, and maybe they do. But the discrimination doesn't usually stop there, as a bunch of Twitter users are pointing out. Their unfortunate last name discrimination carries on into their existence in the digital sphere.
It all started when one Natalie Weiner tried signing up for an account on the Max Preps website. Their algorithm flagged her last name because it apparently has something against hot dogs.
Natalie took the whole thing in stride and managed to set off a chain of events that got other people with "flagged" last names to share their own website registration struggles.
I never really thought that "schmuck" was necessarily a bad word, it literally translates to a "foolish person". I'm pretty sure if I was trying to make my username "foolishperson69xx," I'd be OK.
Unfortunately for Kyle, I can totally understand why his last name would be flagged on the web. I'm sure it's pronounced entirely differently than whatever's going through your gutter-headed brain, but it doesn't change the fact that his last name's just begging to be flagged.
Jen knows all about the struggles of having the abbreviated form of "Richard" as her last name. I wonder how she gets around it? Would she just change around the spelling of her name? "Dich" maybe?
The further you dig through Natalie's response thread, the more you start to realize that there are a lot of people getting reminded of how badly they were bullied in grade school every time they attempt to register for something online.
I look at a guy like Mike and I just want to salute him for standing up to these thoughtless algorithms that indiscriminately ban him just because his last name is on their "flagged list."
I mean, I grew up with an unconventional last name myself and I experienced "outsider-ness" when I was a kid, but I'm sure it was nothing compared to whatever these folks suffered.
Imagine getting NSFW-flagged every single time you simply try to exist online? It isn't fair, there needs to be a petition started for smarter computer algorithm screenings.
Some brave souls came forward with last names that sounded like gags someone would play on a phone prank. Like Seymour Butts, or Ben Dover. But Steve's last name is really something else.
At least there were others out there who could commiserate with him. Maybe not on the same level, but at least they could show a fellow Steve that he could be proud of the name they were given.
Our good friend Allan here then dropped this bomb on everyone: Being denied registration by a computer is one thing, but imagine having to spell your name out to someone over the phone?
That's a whole new level of embarrassment that those of us with non-dirty-sounding last names really can't appreciate or understand. But honestly, it's not just people with unfortunate last names who are getting embarrassed.
Yikesaroni and cheese.