An open letter: Dear Mr. Cumberbatch, I’m really, really sorry.

Sorry on a very personal level, because a person’s name is the icon and the symbol by which they are known all their lives, and it deserves to be respected. A certain man once had a dream that his deceased grandfather appeared to him and asked, “I would like to know what you have done with my name.” The man responded, “I have never done anything with your name of which you need be ashamed.” Our names and our family reputations are sacred things.

But I just can’t help it. Your monicker is so distinctive, and your acting prowess has garnered you such deserved fame, that your name can be mangled in an infinite number of ways – yet people still know who is being referred to.

I’ve seen myriad iterations, and every time I hear you mentioned in the media, or in conversation, my poor mind comes up with another one; it’s a curse.

Burgerking Chuckecheese
Ipecac Bandersnatch
Beanbag Cabbagepatch
Bumbershoot Cattleranch
Bensonmum Cadillac
Bentobox Charizard

are some of the more polite ones I’ve seen, or conjured up.

Of course, you’re not the first one to suffer such a societal affliction. Decades ago, when Engelbert Humperdinck was popular, people did much the same thing, but in the absence of the Internet, things just couldn’t go as viral as they do today. The best example I saw was in a “B.C.” cartoon by Johnny Hart where he was referred to obliquely as “Balthazar Bumperdingle.”

Your rôle as Khan was the first time I really became aware of you; since then, you seem to be everywhere at once. You have become the Paul Muni of the 21st century, and that’s a good thing, because your skills and versatility make you a delight to watch.

So thanks for the great entertainment, and please accept my brain’s apologies for buying into the linguistic buffoonery. You’re a classy guy, and I look forward to much more of your work.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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