After a number of attempts to get the customer service agent on the phone to understand his name, my Asian American friend Appappa decided to spell it out.
"A for apple," he began. "P for pineapple, p for pineapple, a for apple, p for pineapple, p for—"
The flustered agent interrupted. "I have a better idea," she said. "Just tell me how many apples and how many pineapples."