My name is often butchered.
Through the years, I’ve received mail addressed to Dan Poling, Deen Polin, Dena Ploing, Dane Polway, Don Bohlen, and, my personal favorite, Ding Pling, which has a nice ring to it.
The most common misspelling is Dean Polling. Many of you are likely looking at Dean Polling thinking, what’s the matter with that?
Some of you will have known me for years and think, what’s the matter with that?
Well, the deal is there’s only one ‘L’ in Poling not two as in Polling, which could well explain why I haven’t received an e-mail if you have sent it repeatedly to dean.polling-etc., rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seems like it happens at least once a day. Someone has sent me an e-mail that keeps bouncing back their way because they double-tapped the “L” key rather than gave it the far more elegant single tap that spells Poling.
Dean Polling doesn’t live at email@example.com.
So the e-mail never made it.
The Dean Polling stuff is always much worse during an election year what with all of the 24-hour news stations talking about their “polling” data, as well as voting in polling places.
Fun watching the TV news and hearing your name repeatedly ... at least for a while. For example, “We turn now to our latest polling data ...” To which I answer, “This Poling’s doing just fine.”
Humor me. Writers spend a lot of time alone.
Despite the similarities between polling the verb, as into poll someone, and my name Poling, as in the proper noun that is me, this Poling has never been polled.
You would think with a name like Poling, I’d have at least been polled once. You would think at least one call from someone asking for whom do I plan to vote for president, as well as my personal demographic, etc., but, alas, nothing, nada. Not a single polling call for this Poling, at least as far as I know.
We haven’t had a working house phone in many years, when we think that one of the younger Polings, possibly the youngest Poling son many years ago, tossed the Poling family mobile phone into the trash unbeknownst to the eldest Polings until it was far too late.
Any polling amongst our children on what may have happened to the house phone was met with the response that 100% of all Polings polled have no idea what happened to the phone.
But I digress.
As a news dude, there have been occasions when I have polled people. Nothing can be more fun than calling a stranger at suppertime, explaining who you are, what you’re doing, and then asking a bunch of questions except maybe for receiving a call at suppertime, listening to a stranger explain who they are, what they’re doing and then being asked a bunch of questions.
But that’s all local and perhaps doesn’t really count.
As for national election polls, I’ve never been polled about a presidential race and neither has anyone I know — at least, if they have, they’re not talking about it.
So, who are all of these people who determine who’s ahead and who’s behind in a campaign, if neither you nor anyone you know has ever been part of an election poll?
I don’t know, but in this day and age, it may not matter. If you’re never polled, you can always post your political opinions on social media. People seem to have plenty of opinions to share.
Perhaps, that should be the subject of a national poll: Are political Facebook posts driving you nuts?
Dean Poling is an editor with The Valdosta Daily Times and editor of The Tifton Gazette.