i can recollect my grandfather explaining the spelling of our family name, yarossi, to me when i was young. we’re italian, but there’s no “y” in the italian alphabet. my grandfather arrived in the united states through ellis island. he said that when he stated his name, iarossi, at the arrivals desk, the inspector wrote “yarossi” and asked him if that was how to spell it. my grandfather said, “if i say ‘yes’, can i enter the country?” the inspector answered that he could. “then that’s how you spell it,” my grandfather said.