On names, changing them, and pronunciation

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Tue Mar 11 00:33:32 EST 2003


On Tue, 11 Mar 2003 00:02:15 -0500, Rebecca Ganetzky wrote:

>Denise:
>>I haven't changed my name, I'm still single, and if I ever do get 
>>married Mr. Whomever is going to have to accept that I'll most 
>>likely want to keep my last name at least in hyphenated form. 
>>*grin*  I've been called DD both as a common nickname and as my 
>>roleplaying name since the mid-80s -- it'd become quite confusing if 
>>those were suddenly no longer my initials.

>I'm in a similar position (although not exactly single...I have a 
>significant other of about a year, but we're teenagers, so we haven't 
>very seriously talked about marriage, etc.) except in my case, I am 
>the only person in my generation with my last name, literally.  There 
>is apparently no one else in the world with my surname that spells it 
>with a z and a y (there are a lot of "ganetsky"s, though).  And 
>therefore, I would ideally like to not only keep my last name, but 
>have it be the last name of my children, so that it can continue at 
>least one generation.

And on this topic, I'd like you all to consider the genealogists of the
future when you're planning a name change.  I have done enough searching to
be grateful for my ancestors not being any more clever about their names
than they had to be.  I only just learned why my maiden name (McShane) runs
into a dead end back in the 18th century; that name derives from at least
four different sources and in order to trace your ancestry any further, you
have to know which one.  Amazing the things you can learn in Vegas.

Anyway, I like hyphenation when it's sensible--McShane-Proffitt is just
clunky.  (We almost had Jacob changing *his* last name, but at the time it
seemed likely that he'd be the only male Proffitt producing offspring, and
we were thinking along the same lines as Rebecca.)  I generally use both
names, unhyphenated, in scholarly circles; my married name for everyday; and
if I ever seriously try for a writing career, I'll use my maiden name.
Identity is a tricky thing, really, and I've loved hearing from everyone on
the subject...just fascinating.

Melissa Proffitt

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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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