How To… Keep Your Name

Be a man, I suppose as a secondary and not wholly necessary step you could do your best to ensure that you have parents who can be trusted to exercise a modicum of taste and restraint when applying nomenclature to their offspring. When your bear the pronunciation minefield that is Zowie Bowie, whilst relatively cute in babyhood when the child in question has little to no say in what’s going on (and indeed all that much understanding of the situation) becomes something rather more tiresome with age.

Then again, if you do so happen to be a man you’re probably not especially worried about being able to keep your name. Of course there are circumstances under which you might feel prevailed upon to change it. In some cultures a son-in-law may well be adopted by the wife’s family because of some plot and myriad business purposes. And a bolshy and strident lass may not see all that much of a reason why she should shed the proud culture inherent in her distinctive surname.

Well ladies, there are a couple of bits of advice there for you for free. Either be heiress to a vast and desirable empire or whinge continuously until you get your name. Another faintly likely path to securing your victory would be to have an interesting or somewhat unique surname. Also, make sure you don’t have any brothers (or indeed sisters) who are bound to carry on the family name.

So, as a Martin (a relatively uninteresting or rare surname) how should I try and keep the name I’ve borne these twenty four years past? I could just avoid the gender politically charged trap of the bonds of holy matrimony. Alternatively, I could gird my loins for a difficult argument, possibly armed with some other concessions I’d be willing to make. Or I could prepare myself for the loss of the only bit of my name that people are nearly always capable of spelling correctly.

Keep your name – Dirty Projectors


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