Comments: Nomenclature

I'm not at all a feminist ideologue on this topic however I must say this: You write: "but it is more understandable than actually destroying one's name and effectively severing a man's ties with his ancestors."

I feel exactly the same way, in terms of creating a new name with the beloved, or hyphenating your two names - Yes. That is quite ikky. However, when you talk about severing "a man's ties with his ancestors", I would add to that "a woman's ties with her ancestors" - I think it would be completely unnatural for me to give up my name, and sever my ties with my ancestors who are just as important to me. My name is my name.

I will never subject a child of mine to a hyphenated morphing situation, and I would be happy to give my child my husband's name ... but I'll never change my name.

Imagine being asked, or being expected, to give up your last name, Ben. You sound proud of your last name, proud of the connections it connotes - the continuity it brings up. The Kepples.

Of course. I feel the same way about O'Malley. It would feel completely unnatural for me to give up my name, and I won't do it.

Posted by red at March 18, 2004 11:51 AM

Ben, I agree, with one caveat. I do believe hyphenated names should exist when both names are strikingly different or similar, therefore funny. Like that Author, Jacqueline Smith-Smith. Or someone named Lance Wojcieczowkapolowicz-Ng.

Posted by simon from jersey at March 18, 2004 11:56 AM

Hi Sheila:

I am more than willing to say that I can't offer a counter-argument on the sole sub-issue of the wife taking the husband's name; my thoughts in terms of that were in no way based upon logic. Certainly I can see why a woman would want to keep her own last name, and especially if she has strong connections with her own family. And, as I had written, I would be perfectly fine with that decision if my eventual wife decided to do just that. After all, it would be the height of foolishness to let something like that become an issue. Still, I must say that I had not fully considered how a woman might see things.

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Hi Simon:

I *knew* you were going to mention Smith-Smith. I just knew it! That said, you get major style points for doing so; I was thinking about that very instance today and was literally biting my lip to keep from laughing out loud. Not that this won me any points with a colleague who thought that I was smirking at said colleague's attempts to fix one of the endless-form printers.

Smith-Smith. Oh my.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at March 18, 2004 08:44 PM