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As soon as I saw the direct message on The Local’s Facebook page, I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. I know all too well how important it is to get a name right -- whether in conversation or in print.

I’ve been called Melanie most of my life and it’s a detailed routine of how I spell my last name for someone to submit an email. At least it got an English spelling when my ancestors arrived at Ellis Island.

The German version of Kinser is Kuenzer.

To get to the point, the name of the salutatorian for Mechanicsville High School was misspelled under her photo on the front page of last week’s edition. I became ill when I saw her message.

While I would hope all members of the Richmond Suburban News staff adhere to a goal of no errors, unfortunately, sometimes a mistake slips by and we beat ourselves up for it.

Lauren Schenack was a class act in explaining her disappointment in the misspelling. We inadvertently had Scheneck. It was a big “Oh no!” moment that we sincerely regret.

Changes were immediately made on our website, as well as the full edition on Issuu.

Dealing with a misspelled or incorrect name has taunted me since I was a kid. I always said I could deal with Melanie if I was being invited to a birthday party or some kind of celebration.

In junior high, friends started calling me Mel, and when I visit my hometown more people are likely to refer to me as that than Melody.

Of course, I can’t help but think back to the days when one of my parents would yell “Melody Shawn,” code for “You’re in trouble”. If it was “Melody Shawn Kinser”, then it was really serious.

What’s in a name? Everything when it’s wrong. Diligence is a key component in our day-to-day operations.

In closing, we certainly expect you to hold us to the highest standards possible. That is our goal.

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