At a very young age, I learned to answer to a name that wasn't my own. It's a common problem.

Parents spend weeks agonizing over the perfect name for their progeny, only to find that the rest of the world isn't always compelled to say or spell it correctly. Sometimes, it's squarely on the parents. If you work that hard to spell your child's name in an unorthodox way, you shouldn't be surprised when people stumble over it.

In my case, the problem wasn't my first name, which is kind of difficult to mispronounce. It was my last name — Victora — which sounds to most people like a first name. 

And so it began in kindergarten and continues to this day.

While taking attendance, teachers would call out Victoria and pause, searching the rows of desks for the right child. "Vicky?" they would say next.

I learned to call out, "Here!" or raise my hand. It was just easier, and it really didn't matter.

Based on my grade school report cards, I was spending much of my classroom time turned around talking to other children, anyway.

Back then, you actually got a letter grade for conduct. You also got paddled. That was also an era when the C you got in conduct wouldn't haunt you 10 years later on your Harvard application.

But I digress.

To this day, I answer to Victoria on a weekly basis. Because I continued to write using my maiden name when I was hired here nearly 20 years ago, I am known to readers as Wendy Victoria.

I don't correct anyone because it really doesn't matter.  I know who I am.

This world is a really busy place. Information is flying by us faster than the winds in a Cat 5 hurricane. We can't catch it all. We certainly can't change it. And frankly, as long as we all keep talking to each other, does it matter if we get each others' names just right?

It's important to try, and we all do.

But if there's one thing humans do consistently, it's make mistakes. And when it comes right down to it, there's a good chance that my real last name — Victora — may have been a mistake when my ancestors first came to this country.

According to my brother's exhaustive genealogical search, the name was actually Viktora at one point about 100 years ago.

For the record, I'd answer to that, too. "Here!"

Daily News Managing Editor Wendy Victora can be reached at 315-4478 or wvictora@nwfdailynews.com.