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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Where Will It Stop With Hyphenated Last Names?

Rodgers-Cromartie when he was with the Cardinals.
A number of years ago, women who got married decided that they wanted to retain their pre-marriage identity and began using their maiden name hyphenated with their husband's last name. If the woman gets divorced, she may choose to retain the hyphenated name, passing it on to her children. I've seen a three name combo hyphenated and I keep wondering, "Where will it stop with hyphenated last names?"

In the NFL, there are several players with hyphenated last names on their jerseys, one being Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the Philadelphia Eagles. There are others, too.

When you are a woman and you have a famous name and you get married, you can't just hyphenate your last name or switch to your husband's last name. Take Kim Kardashian. She's built an entire global brand around her and her name. Is she really going to be Kim Kardashian-Humphries? I think she tried that for a week. But the reality is, she is Kim KARDASHIAN and that name has some clout.

Let's put a spin on this that is completely possible. Let's say she was nobody and became Kardashian-Humphries and made that name into a brand. And then, as most Hollywood marriages go, she gets divorced from Humphries, but she's got brand equity in his name. Then, she marries someone else named Wilson; she'd be Kim Kardashian-Humphries-Wilson. Now she's starting to sound like a law firm.

Where will the names end?

I don't know and only time will tell. We might see an NFL player with six names on the back of his jersey, either going up and down the sleeves or layered in tiny type above his number.

Based on that concept, I decided to come up with a ridiculous scenario.

Mya Black marries Cornelius Johnson. So she became Mya Black-Johnson. Things didn't work out with Cornelius, but everyone knew her as Black-Johnson, so she couldn't drop it when she married Harold Hertz. And she didn't want to make Harold feel inferior, so she put all the names together and became Mya Black-Johnson-Hertz.

Harold got kicked to the curb when he was caught fooling around with Sandy Dick. They ran off and got married. She hyphenated her last name, too.

Mya got a promotion and they had plaques made for her with all of her names, so she couldn't give them up when she fell in love with and married a jazz musician, Lester Funky. So she became Mya Black-Johnson-Hertz-Funky.

You know how things are with musicians, Lester took the A-Train south and moved into a cheap motel that doubled as a brothel. So, Mya sought more love and found it. She thought she had finally found her soul mate when she married her accountant, Seymour Butz. Her new signature became Mya Black-Johnson-Hertz-Funky-Butz.

After Seymour embezzled money from her, she ditched him and his name. And she decided that she never really loved Funky. Plus, writing all those names was too complicated. So when she married Charlie Wang, she decided to just use the initials of her first two husbands, respect Harold and add Charlie to her name. She became Mya BJ-Hertz-Wang. The next day she was fired after requesting a new name plate for her desk.

Yes, twisting around our traditions can have dire effects on one's life. So I ask again, "Where will it stop with hyphenated last names?"

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