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Actually, pity their 4th ggchildren when they get into genealogy ; ),2933,102945,00.html

These days, when John Smith marries Jane Doe, he might opt to become John Doe. Or John Doe-Smith. Or John Smith Doe.

In the latest departure from traditional marriage (search) procedure, some American men are beginning to take their wives' last names, either using the woman's name in addition to their own or nixing their given names completely.


Kelly Shubert-Coleman, 23, said her husband Jon, 29, chose to put his name before the hyphen because he knew the Coleman would often get left off.

“I actually wanted to combine them into one name, but hyphenating was enough for him," she said.

The Shubert-Colemans decided to hyphenate because they wanted their kids to share their last name, and neither wanted to give up their individual identity.

I can appreciate people being sensitive to their "identity" changing from one day to the next, but at some point it is just too cumbersome to work, and something has to give for the sake of practicality. For example, what about when their "Shubert-Coleman" son grows up and marries the "Jones-Thomas" girl down the road and they decide to merge their precocious surnames so that neither surrenders his identity?...(or two generations downstream, whatever, point is it rapidly becomes an unworkable system - traditions generally do serve some purpose beyond existence for their own sake!). Lather, rinse, repeat for about 4 geneartions, and you have an excessively complex trail of names to follow.

I have a deep respect for all my ancestral surnames, and am thrilled by the history behind each. My "identity" is not the surname I bear, but the sum of all of that history and my own life's decisions. </waxingphilosophical>

It just seems a wee bit impractical a system these people are espousing, and definitely a nightmare for generations to come. I mean, I thought trouble with spelling variations of the SAME name was bad...
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