I make hotel reservations over the phone for people who will be
coming into town. Sometimes the phone connection isn't the
greatest, or there is background noise, or (usually) the person
has a very heavy accent which makes it difficult to understand.
Me: Okay can I get a last name for the reservations?
Me: I'm sorry I couldn't hear that, can you spell the name for
Guest: (garbled again)-ton, why is that so hard for you?
Me: Can you please spell the last name for me? I'm having
difficulty making out the name, I think the connection is bad
Guest: It's (garbled)-ton you idiot! (garbled)-T-O-N
Turns out the last name was Simpleton (changed of course) and he
was just saying "simple" and then spelling T O N.
I don't understand how me asking him to spell his last name
computed in his head to saying the "word" contained in the first
part of his name and spelling only the last three letters.