Should I change my surname?
zeilerk at TCPLINK.NREL.GOV
zeilerk at TCPLINK.NREL.GOV
Wed Mar 1 19:49:58 EST 1995
I know this thread is slightly old but I thought I'd throw out my idea (so far I
haven't convinced very many people of my viewpoint, probably because it is
Let me first say that I have been married twice and did not change my name
either time. Before my first marriage I had read in the paper that it was
perfectly legal to keep your own name and it never really occurred to me to do
otherwise afterwards. Since then I have developed a new idea, not shared by
virtually anyone, I find. (Including my spouse!)
My proposal is that when two individuals decide to join together - leaving their
original family and forming a new family - that they should pick a BRAND NEW
SURNAME!! I don't agree with objections to how difficult it would be to trace
ancestry - female lineages must live without a historical surname, so why not
trace lineage by individuals?
Of course, the hard part is the responsibility of choosing the new name!
Myself, I would almost have to choose "Blank", as in fill in the... But of
course, that's part of the fun, too.
And also, some people like their own names (like Songster, how nice!)so we must
be flexible to accommodate everyone. (Mary, maybe you and your spouse should
have become SongsterAlpin without the hyphen!).
That's my 2 pence worth, but I will add that picking a new name together would
be a strong bonding process and also would avoid some of the confusion arising
from different surnames in the same family. (For example, my daughter, my
husband and myself have 3 different surnames; we don't care but it sure confuses
her teachers! More the fun. Once we tried to take the letters of our 3 names
and make a new one - not possible in our case!).
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Should I change my surname?
Author: mary_songster_alpin at ncsu.edu (Mary Songster-Alpin) at smtp
Date: 2/8/95 6:17 PM
I am currently a Ph.D. student in veterinary microbiology/virology. When I
got married in July of 1993, I decided to hyphenate my maiden name (Songster)
with my husband's name (Alpin). Songster-Alpin sounded good together and I
didn't feel like taking on a totally new name. However, hyphenating was the
worst mistake I could have made. NOBODY respected my decision. All of my
mail is addressed as Mary Alpin, Mrs. Alpin ect. Even my insurance company
(all of the bills are in my name since I had access to the phone during the
day) changed my name. They claimed that nobody would know where to look for
our records. That excuse made me mad. I get strange looks, blank looks ect.
when I say or spell my name. What really gets me is I like it. I think it's
unique and elegant. However, I have found that most people have a problem
with husbands and wives having different names. Mine being 50% similar only
compounds the problem. If I could do it again, I would have kept my own name.
This wouldn't solve most of the problem but people would probably think I
wasn't married and would be reluctant to call me Mrs. My advice: keep your
own name. Marriage isn't about names, it's about love.
Mary S. Songster-Alpin Mary_Songster_Alpin at ncsu.edu
Dept. of Micro., Path., and Parasit.
North Carolina State University
College of Veterinary Medicine
4700 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC 27606
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