On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed Mar 5 14:11:11 EST 2003


I've never felt any desire to change my name, except for the brief times
when it seemed everyone was calling me Michelle and I wondered if I had been
destined for a different name.  My maiden name goes very harmoniously with
Melissa.  It was when I was faced with having to change my name, when I got
married, that I considered *not* changing it.  "Having to" being a very
inaccurate term, since it was tradition and not force, but ultimately I
decided there were good reasons to share my husband's last name.  I do have
a secret name that only I know, something private and closely related to my
deepest sense of identity.  I've always liked that concept in books, having
a secret or magical name.

There's a name I'd seen recently on children's books that just SCREAMED name
change:  Crescent Dragonwagon.  I looked her up and read the story of why
she changed her name, and it was fascinating:

http://www.dragonwagon.com/13what's_my_name.htm

What interests me most are her conflicting emotions about her name (both old
and new) and how things look as you mature.  Had I wanted to change my name,
I am very sure I would not now want to be saddled with anything my
fifteen-year-old self came up with.

(Her mother, BTW, is children's writer Charlotte Zolotow.)

Melissa Proffitt
not Proffit
or Profitt
or Profit
or, heaven forbid, Prophet

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English doesn't borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, hits them over the head and goes through their pockets for loose vocabulary.

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