Name

Pronunciation

I personally pronounce my name /ɡɹɛtʃn̩ məkʌlɪk/, but I also have relatives who use the /məkʌlə/ pronunciation so I’m fine with that one too. And of course /ən/ is basically the same as a syllabic nasal.

Technically, the German pronunciation of my first name is /ɡʁeːtçən/ and the Scottish pronunciation of my last name ends with a voiceless velar fricative, but if your native language doesn’t have these sounds or those in the anglicization that I use, please feel free to adapt the phonology as needed! I find it very interesting what different phonologies do with my rather phonotactically challenging name and I do it myself in other languages — for example, I shift the stress to the final syllable when I’m introducing myself in French. (If you’re actually German or Scottish, go ahead and pronounce my name “properly”, but otherwise please don’t worry about it!)

Spelling

My last name is often misspelled McCullough, McCullouch, McCullogh, McColloch, McCulluch, McColluch, McCullock, McCulla, MacCulla, MacCulloch, McCullagh, MacCullough, McCully, McCollough, McCoulough, etc. Many of these are legit spellings that other people use, but they are not my spelling, so welcome if you’ve arrived at this page from the best guess of a search engine!

Here’s an acrostic to help you remember how to spell McCulloch: My Cognomen Contains Un-diphthonged, Legless Letters Only (Cheerful Hint!). Thanks to Twitter for helping me come up with this.

Fortunately, there is only one usual spelling of Gretchen and most spellchecks seem to have it, although for the benefit of Google, I do very rarely get Gretchan, Gretchin, Gretel, Greta, Gretchel, Grachel, etc.

So if you’re mentioning me somewhere, please do double-check the spelling of my name? One mnemonic that might help is that I have no descenders anywhere, i.e. there is no “g” in my last name, which is the most common error (thanks to a certain Australian author). It’ll be nicer for all of us if I don’t have to correct you. Thanks!

Also, here’s the large version of that profile photo I use everywhere and a couple more recent photos.