One Woman’s crusade to change the default wake word on Amaon

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Should Amazin change the default wake word?
Poll ended at 14 Aug 2021, 3:01 am
Yes 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
No 73%  73%  [ 8 ]
Maybe 9%  9%  [ 1 ]
I’m indifferent 9%  9%  [ 1 ]
I have some other opinion in the comments below 9%  9%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 11

cfleischmann
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24 Jul 2021, 3:01 am

This is not a new thing, but I just found out about it yesterday so i figured I’d bring it to the community’s attention

===

Wow! One woman’s crusade to get Amazon to change the name “Alexa” of the Echo software and device.

LINK: https://alexaisahuman.com/my-letter-to-amazon

I never thought of the name “Alexa” for a human (I’ve heard plenty of “Alexandra”, “Alexis”, “Alexandria”… but never “Alexa”) prior to the Echo technology’s introduction. It was BECAUSE OF the Echo’s name that I thought it might be a cute name for a girl… but apparently countless of human Alexas are being bullied, driven to change their names, suicidal thoughts, etc. I would never dream of bullying someone named Alexa…

what do you think? Should Amazon have thought this through better? Did they make a mistake? Should they change the name?

[external links]

Video by NameExplained on the subject: https://youtu.be/Ks3c3Xf0EK4
Another video summarizing the situation: https://youtu.be/IAa-w8oQpQ8

Note: the attached poll is set to run for 21 days (3 weeks) from the date of posting… this plenty of time for you to vote, think on it, form new opinions and change your mind if new opinions are formed. But by having a defined cut off it gives a clear timeframe as to when the data was captured. I *MIGHT* follow this up with a more detailed and thoughtful survey to gain more insights into this. I don’t know for certain if I will or not.. but if I do, I’ll update this thread


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hurtloam
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24 Jul 2021, 3:59 am

Just in case people vote before clicking the link like I did, I assumed this was some feminist nonsense about a machine having a female name.

But it's about a little girl who gets made fun of at school for being called Alexa. Even adults joke about her doing tasks for them like Amazon's "Alexa".

Poor kid.



naturalplastic
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24 Jul 2021, 4:52 am

Maybe Amazon can use a backward version of her name. Call the ap Axela.

Axela is short, catchy, and has a ring. But retains some of the flavor of the old "Alexa" name, so it has continuity with the old name so consumers get a sense that its the same thing.



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24 Jul 2021, 6:18 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Just in case people vote before clicking the link like I did, I assumed this was some feminist nonsense about a machine having a female name.

But it's about a little girl who gets made fun of at school for being called Alexa. Even adults joke about her doing tasks for them like Amazon's "Alexa".

Poor kid.
I thought that as well at 1st but thankfully I waited to vote before reading :wink:
I majorly dislike various things about Amazon & I've signed LOTS of petitions over the years for Amazon to start caring about actual people instead of only the ultra wealthy which is why I am very shocked that I am actually in the position of defending something related to Amazon right now. It is extremely sad & pathetic that the girl is being bullied but Amazon is in NO WAY responsible for her being bullied. Amazon has NEVER had advertisements that are telling people they should be teasing kids or adults who have the name Alexa. People can be bullied & teased for nearly anything these days in this sick sad world. I know it majorly sux but the girl's teasing is NOT because of Amazon. She is being teased because people are major d!cks & A-holes.


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24 Jul 2021, 6:52 pm

nick007 wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
Just in case people vote before clicking the link like I did, I assumed this was some feminist nonsense about a machine having a female name.

But it's about a little girl who gets made fun of at school for being called Alexa. Even adults joke about her doing tasks for them like Amazon's "Alexa".

Poor kid.
I thought that as well at 1st but thankfully I waited to vote before reading :wink:
I majorly dislike various things about Amazon & I've signed LOTS of petitions over the years for Amazon to start caring about actual people instead of only the ultra wealthy which is why I am very shocked that I am actually in the position of defending something related to Amazon right now. It is extremely sad & pathetic that the girl is being bullied but Amazon is in NO WAY responsible for her being bullied. Amazon has NEVER had advertisements that are telling people they should be teasing kids or adults who have the name Alexa. People can be bullied & teased for nearly anything these days in this sick sad world. I know it majorly sux but the girl's teasing is NOT because of Amazon. She is being teased because people are major d!cks & A-holes.


Agree 100%


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nick007
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25 Jul 2021, 2:18 am

I understand why the mom is upset. It can be very difficult for any decent parent to know that their kid is having a majorly rough time due to things like bullying & even friendly teasing. However the mom is blaming & taking her frustration out on the wrong thing. Trying to get Amazon to change the name is extremely likely to be futile. She would likely have a much better outcome if she would have her daughter's name changed. Ask her daughter what name she would like to be called instead. LOTS of people go by different names than they were born with these days like singers & rappers, people on sports teams, politicians, porn stars, various people with special skills or talents or interests, also lots of people online use screen-names that are different than their real name.


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hurtloam
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25 Jul 2021, 2:25 am

Nick. I. Adding that your real name is Nicholas, shortened to Nick. You have a normal name. You have no idea what it's like to have a weird name or a name that can be twisted against you.

A name is a large part of your identity. It's traumatic to change your name. It's who you are.

I went by a shortened name for years, but then decided, I don't care what people think of name, the can call me the full shebang. ie I went by Annie for years, but decided to go by Anastasia even if it is a mouthful.

You don't know what it's like to have people tell you "your name is wrong, I'm gonna call you something else."

Saying she should change her name is so unempathetic.



cfleischmann
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25 Jul 2021, 4:12 am

Honestly, I am of the opinion that for the most part people need tough skin and teasing will inevitably happen. However, where I think this has gone too far is as follows:
1) even adults are doing this who should know better.
2) you don’t see me writing to Nickelodeon or Paramount plus for every reference to iCarly that comes my way. You don’t see my advocates wife writing to Apple demanding that they change the name Siri. Now the interesting thing about the second version of that is that my advocates wife chose the nickname Siri as it’s easy to spell, easy to remember, and easy to say. Whereas if she were to tell the Starbucks person her name was Krystal, nine times from 10 they would probably misspell it.
3) when a company‘s branding and marketing has real world consequences like suicidal ideation‘s, driving people to change their name legally, relentless harassment at work and at school, and other such things that’s when I would say the companies decision was very shortsighted. However, good luck changing this on a global scale and unfortunately this is just the fallout of some thing that society is going to have to deal with. It is because of Amazon echo that I actually think Alexa is a cute name and is something I would name my child.

If you really wanted to get technical, I would actually consider naming my children Siri Nicole, Cortana Marie, and Alexa Renee. I think they’re beautiful names and Siri is an actual name used in places like Scandinavia and Norway which means something to the effect of “beautiful victory” or “beautiful woman who will lead you to victory”. As for Alexa, that was explained in the linked video in the original post, and as for Cortana nobody seems to have a clue but I like it.

again normally I’d say children will be children, but when it crosses extremes as this case has this is where I would have issue with it.


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naturalplastic
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25 Jul 2021, 5:38 am

Some food for thought for both sides of the debate served up with music:



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25 Jul 2021, 7:04 am

There are a lot of celebrities naming their kids non-conventional names (Apple, Kulture, Honor, et al).

Plus Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have a daughter named James.


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cfleischmann
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25 Jul 2021, 7:14 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Some food for thought for both sides of the debate served up with music:




Valid point :). I know a couple of boys named Ashley and even one named Kim growing up. So again valid point. As to what another person said, celebrities are naming their kids with unconventional names… so go figure


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Blue_Star
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25 Jul 2021, 8:51 am

I read the letter & was wondering why her parents don't say something to these people in the moment instead of just letting their daughter take it & dealing after (with only her). Also, having met people named Echo, I don't think that's any better of a replacement...

Kids get teased. Alexa is not an unknown name (at least in these parts). The parents should be speaking up at school, activities, & out in public when things occur. And the echo's been out since 2015, so they've had plenty of time to decide to go a different route, such as with a full first name in public instead of Alexa.

One can't always change society or expect society to care enough to change. Amazon doesn't create the teasing.



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27 Jul 2021, 2:34 am

My mom's a retired pre-K teacher hurtloam & it was quite common for the students to be called by nicknames. Some of the nicknames were nicknames their mom or other relative had for em, some were nicknames that their classmates came up with, some were nicknames the student themselves came up with, & some were nicknames my mom came up with for the students. Some students had real names that were very difficult for mom & other teachers & school officials to pronounce(think very foreign sounding names that are spelled very differently than the way they sound in the US) so expecting the other students to say those names correctly was extremely unrealistic. Thus nicknames were necessary for some of the students. Mom always tried to make sure that the kids were comfortable with their nicknames & mom might would joke about em sometimes but she would never intentionally try to be mean about it. She would not do it if she realized that the kid was bothered by it.

When I 1st read the letter I was also wondering why the girl's mom wasn't saying anything to the other adults Blue_Star but then I thought how my girlfriend has a variation of a common name that the adults get wrong about half the time when they 1st read it & some adults can be very uncaring when they are corrected. Cass's name has an O in one spot where the common name would have an A. The two names are thus spelled slightly differently due to that & are generally supposed to be pronounced slightly differently. One time when Cass corrected an adult the woman said something like "If that's how you want it pronounced". It was not an issue of pronouncing Cass's name differently, her name was literally spelled slightly differently & the difference in how both names sound is the standard way here in the US. Cass & her family had a telephone conference with a judge recently due to a death in the family a year & half ago & a couple members in her family are in the process of trying to get the estate & affairs in order. The judge called Cass the wrong name & Cass corrected her & the judge said sorry & then did it again next time she said her name. Cass corrected her a 2nd time & the judge again said sorry & then said it wrong again & kept saying it wrong whenever she needed to say Cass's name. How the f#ck can we seriously actually expect kids & other adults to not make fun of a kid's name when when lots of adults including some in positions of authority like judges don't even care about getting adults names right :?: Kids learn from the example us adults set for them growing up & if us adults do not care about others names being right on official legal stuff, we have a problem that goes much much deeper than Amazon giving a technology device a name that women & girls can have. I highly doubt that Amazon ever considered that naming the device Alexa would cause girls named Alexa to be teased & bullied. I never thought about that at all until I read this thread but maybe I'm living under a rock & should change my name to Patrick Star :shrug:


cfleischmann wrote:
Honestly, I am of the opinion that for the most part people need tough skin and teasing will inevitably happen. However, where I think this has gone too far is as follows:
1) even adults are doing this who should know better.
2) you don’t see me writing to Nickelodeon or Paramount plus for every reference to iCarly that comes my way. You don’t see my advocates wife writing to Apple demanding that they change the name Siri. Now the interesting thing about the second version of that is that my advocates wife chose the nickname Siri as it’s easy to spell, easy to remember, and easy to say. Whereas if she were to tell the Starbucks person her name was Krystal, nine times from 10 they would probably misspell it.
3) when a company‘s branding and marketing has real world consequences like suicidal ideation‘s, driving people to change their name legally, relentless harassment at work and at school, and other such things that’s when I would say the companies decision was very shortsighted. However, good luck changing this on a global scale and unfortunately this is just the fallout of some thing that society is going to have to deal with. It is because of Amazon echo that I actually think Alexa is a cute name and is something I would name my child.

If you really wanted to get technical, I would actually consider naming my children Siri Nicole, Cortana Marie, and Alexa Renee. I think they’re beautiful names and Siri is an actual name used in places like Scandinavia and Norway which means something to the effect of “beautiful victory” or “beautiful woman who will lead you to victory”. As for Alexa, that was explained in the linked video in the original post, and as for Cortana nobody seems to have a clue but I like it.

again normally I’d say children will be children, but when it crosses extremes as this case has this is where I would have issue with it.
If your name is Carly, I seriously would majorly want to name my daughter that if I ever were to have a daughter, Or the name Miranda, or Shay, or Shea(Shea was Miranda's name on the show crowded which only lasted one season :( ). Knowing the reason why I'd gave my daughter that name(whichever one) would likely be way worse for the girl than her simply having the name. I may be slightly delusional but thankfully I have enough grip on reality to not want kinds & know I should never have em.

In regards to the name Siri, there is a professional porn star with that name & that might be worse for a teen girl or woman having that name than the Apple reference. Then again when any parent names their kid after he/she is born it is impossible for them or anybody really to predict if any person having that name or porn star using that name will ever become famous during their kid's lives. It is also impossible to predict what companies will release new products that just so happen to have the same name as your kid due to coincidence during your kid's life. Some parents can majorly overthink & have lots of sleepless nights before their kid is born worrying about picking the exact perfect name for their kid. But when their kid is born whatever name the parents decide is all a cr@p shoot. In the end it is all a roll of the dice anyway so just pick a name you like & just go with it. If there's a problem later because somebody or some thing with the same name becomes famous or a slang term that in similar to their name becomes famous, the best any parent can realistically do is to talk to their kid & be there for their kid. A parent can not change the way everybody else acts with their kid so it would be better for the parents to focus on what they can possibly realistically do.


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cfleischmann
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27 Jul 2021, 4:28 am

nick007 wrote:
If your name is Carly, I seriously would majorly want to name my daughter that if I ever were to have a daughter, Or the name Miranda, or Shay, or Shea(Shea was Miranda's name on the show crowded which only lasted one season :( ).


Yes, my name is actually Carly. When I changed my name several years ago, I [u]chose to[//u] name myself after the somewhat well-known person of the same name because I was inspired by her. I did not predict(and how could I) that each and every time my advocate (who named herself after the actress that plaid Sam from iCarly for similar reasons) would reach out for some business deal or I would join a forum that clarification would have to be made “…you’re thinking of the wrong Carly” or “…not the famous one”; I know I couldn’t predict these outcomes and I completely ripped the name from a somewhat well-known figure… so if I couldn’t avoid problems based the fact that I legally edited my name, how can one expect to know that there will be problems at time of name creation/assignment? If it can happen to me, it’s can happen to anyone…


Tryth is, I’ve gone through several internal name changes prior to editing my name legally. Such choices include:
1, Amanda Laura
2. Miranda Kay
3. Alanis Nadine
4. Carly Shae
5. Loretta Ann

So several internal name changes prior to a go live with “Carly Grace Fleischmann”. I could inly imagine the trouble some people go through.

P.s. good choices on possible daughter names :)


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IsabellaLinton
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27 Jul 2021, 6:48 am

I don't really understand this thread. I don't know what a "default wake word on Amazon" is?

My cousin's daughter is named Alexa. She was born in 1996. What does this have to do with Amazon? Why would someone bully her for being named Alexa? :scratch:

Also I don't understand the significance or problem of the name Carly. I know quite a few women named Carly including of course Carly Simon. I'm not sure why that's a problem name either, or what "iCarly" is.



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27 Jul 2021, 6:57 am

cfleischmann wrote:
[
1, Amanda Laura
2. Miranda Kay
3. Alanis Nadine
4. Carly Shae
5. Loretta Ann


1, Carly-Ray
2. Miley
3. Kelly-Ann
4. Dolly
5. Debbie-Lou