from “Specter”

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Magda despises her name. The way others say it, and even more, the way she pronounces it: Mag-da, each syllable with equal stress. It has always sounded incomplete. “Is that short for Magdalena?” people (understandably) ask. Understanding their need for a straight answer, she says, “No.” That gets it out of the way. The truth is, her parents named her Magda so that people would stop to ask this very question, take notice of her out of all the others. Or they simply felt it too tasking to call out a name with four syllables out of six other children who also happen to have names.

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