People are often confused when I tell them that our website is called “The Oo-oo Kingdom” (or at least, it’s pronounced that way). They probably get visions of a URL like www.oo-oo-kingdom.com, or something like that. It doesn’t help much if I say “O-O-kingdom,” either, because in one instance, I got this response: “You mean ‘O-H-O-H-kingdom’ or just ‘O-O…’?”
Oo, in case you didn’t know, was my nickname when I was a little boy, and we always said it in two syllables. Why we spelled it “Oo” and not “Oo-oo” is beyond me at this point, but the name has endured for 40 years (I have a tape recording made in early October of 1962, when I was four years old, and it was used then). What does Oo mean? Nothing at all! I made it up myself, and I was four years old; that should be explanation enough (that probably explains the spelling as well).
Every year around October 7, I observe Oo’s Day: that is, I recall when the whole Oo thing started. Oh yeah, I had a sort of loose-knit Oo club during my growing-up years.
This year, I thought, “Why not change the pronunciation to a single syllable and avoid the confusion? I could make it effective at the 40th anniversary, on October 7, 2002.” So I ran this by my wife and son (Wendi and Joe) to see what they thought of the idea.
Joe didn’t like it. “I’m used to ‘Oo-oo’,” he told me.
Wendi wasn’t fond of the idea, either, especially when I told her that I could make the change effective on Oo’s Day—and I pronounced it as a single syllable: Ooze Day.
“Ooooo, it sounds slimey.” she noted. “Get it off me!”
That was enough for me. The name stays: Oo, pronounced in two syllables (OO-oo). I guess 40 years is just the beginning.