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Should we revamp how we name ourselves?

124

Posts

  • CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Cervetus wrote: »
    I think it would be fine to have both first and last names be made up. I don't really care about preserving lineage in a name; it should be obvious looking at me that I'm of Nordic stock, and I don't make a habit of eating Lutefisk or raping Irish nuns anyway so it doesn't matter.

    There are a lot of benefits to having every person in an immediate family sharing a surname, so it makes sense for kids to take on their parents' name at least until they hit independence.

    You get to go on Family Feud and...? Wives have different last names than their husbands all the time.
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    My current surname is a character from Seinfeld. The tall, obnoxious, lanky one. With the crazy hair.

    now imagine having that last name and going through high school in the late 90's.

    Got it?

    Meh. My last name can easily be tweaked into something that implies I'm homosexual, and was constantly from the time I was, like, ten. I preferred to just ignore it.

    Although it is different to have a couple people make a reference because they're trying to be assholes and almost everyone, including the people who should be cool, making a reference because they think it's funny and can't understand that it's killing you inside.

    The libertarian response to anything is, "Sure, that works fine in practice, but it doesn't fly in theory."
  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    one of the guys I graduated with just had a little boy.

    His first born. He named the boy J'Aushua.

    That took me like 2 or 3 times saying it outloud to get it.


    I can see why.

    Damn, that kid is gonna give his English teachers fits. Phonetically it looks like it should be pronounced Juh-ow-shwa.

    On topic: I thought when I was younger that it would be cool to attach a title to your name like monarchs used to have (ie 'the great', 'the penitent', etc).

    It kind of fizzled for me when I realized that the best I'd be able to do would be 'the depressed'. Or maybe 'the unreasonably angry'.

  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    So, why should our names even encode our heritage at all? Why even have more than one name? We need one identifier which is globally unique, which in modern times is best handled by an identification number, and one identifier which is locally unique or close to to differentiate us from people in our social groups. Thus, we should reduce our names to a name of our choosing followed by our global identification number.

    THE MARK OF THE BEAST

    BURN THE WITCH

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Al_wat wrote: »
    So, why should our names even encode our heritage at all? Why even have more than one name? We need one identifier which is globally unique, which in modern times is best handled by an identification number, and one identifier which is locally unique or close to to differentiate us from people in our social groups. Thus, we should reduce our names to a name of our choosing followed by our global identification number.

    THE MARK OF THE BEAST

    BURN THE WITCH

    Conversely there'd be no chance of being accidentally mismatched to some guy on a watchlist.

    Along these lines though, kakos is kind of close to the type of thing I was suggesting - we don't have to encode history in our names at all (thus the thread title) - but it seems prudent to make a name pronounceable so it's memorable as well. Could you, for example, make UUIDs which would be unique AND phonetic?

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Al_wat wrote: »
    So, why should our names even encode our heritage at all? Why even have more than one name? We need one identifier which is globally unique, which in modern times is best handled by an identification number, and one identifier which is locally unique or close to to differentiate us from people in our social groups. Thus, we should reduce our names to a name of our choosing followed by our global identification number.

    THE MARK OF THE BEAST

    BURN THE WITCH

    Conversely there'd be no chance of being accidentally mismatched to some guy on a watchlist.

    Along these lines though, kakos is kind of close to the type of thing I was suggesting - we don't have to encode history in our names at all (thus the thread title) - but it seems prudent to make a name pronounceable so it's memorable as well. Could you, for example, make UUIDs which would be unique AND phonetic?

    I...

    I don't know if that's possible. but..

    Why?

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Al_wat wrote: »
    So, why should our names even encode our heritage at all? Why even have more than one name? We need one identifier which is globally unique, which in modern times is best handled by an identification number, and one identifier which is locally unique or close to to differentiate us from people in our social groups. Thus, we should reduce our names to a name of our choosing followed by our global identification number.

    THE MARK OF THE BEAST

    BURN THE WITCH

    Conversely there'd be no chance of being accidentally mismatched to some guy on a watchlist.

    Along these lines though, kakos is kind of close to the type of thing I was suggesting - we don't have to encode history in our names at all (thus the thread title) - but it seems prudent to make a name pronounceable so it's memorable as well. Could you, for example, make UUIDs which would be unique AND phonetic?

    I...

    I don't know if that's possible. but..

    Why?

    The principle is essentially the same as encoding ancestry - you're trying to take data which is essentially numeric and turn it into something which is pleasantly pronounceable. Doing it with something like a UUID is a somewhat similar problem as doing it with something like an existing name or other data.

  • Cire_ArodumCire_Arodum Registered User
    edited December 2010
    One of the biggest problem I see with our current traditional system is that it's problematic for those who do any work in their field before marriage. A previous girlfriend of mine was concerned about changing her name when she was married, since she was working towards getting published. She wanted to always be quickly associated with her previous work, but that's harder when you switch names after the start of your career. She could keep her own name of course, but that could provide a problem for the person she marries if they are in the same position. Plus, then you might have potentially messy situations where parents don't have the same last names as their children.

    I think the best way, that is likely to catch on, and hell already has in many cases, is for one of the partners, generally the woman according to tradition, to change their maiden name to their middle name, and take the partners last name. So when Jane Smith marries John Doe, her name becomes Jane Smith Doe, and signs her work as such. It's easy to associate Jane Smith with Jane Smith Doe, especially since Smith is not a common first name.

    Also, I don't see my last name as functioning to show I'm of European descent, but rather to associate me with my parents, grandparents, sibling, and any children I have. It's extremely practical to be able to link relatives together.

  • Technicus RexTechnicus Rex All your base.Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Raekreu wrote: »

    On topic: I thought when I was younger that it would be cool to attach a title to your name like monarchs used to have (ie 'the great', 'the penitent', etc).

    It kind of fizzled for me when I realized that the best I'd be able to do would be 'the depressed'. Or maybe 'the unreasonably angry'.

    On that topic what does it take to give yourself the title "Esquire" ? I've always wondered that because it's always seemed to me to be something that in not inherited and that people just add that onto their name to sound cool/douchy...

    Can I call myself "Name Name Esquire" next time I introduce myself to someone?

    People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazi's. You can't trust people. - Super Hans.
  • Technicus RexTechnicus Rex All your base.Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I figured I may as well google it and this is what I got from wikipedia

    Esquire (abbreviated Esq.) is a term of British origin (ultimately from Latin scutarius in the sense of shield bearer via Old French "esquier"). In Britain, it is an unofficial title of respect, having no precise significance, which is used to denote a high but indeterminate social status.[1] Esquire is cognate with the word squire, which originally meant an apprentice or assistant to a knight. Relics of this origin can still be found today associated with the word esquire. For example in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, "Esquire" is today the most junior grade of membership. In the United States, the suffix Esq. most commonly designates individuals licensed to practice law, and applies to both men and women.

    I'm not in the U.S. and technically I think I'm a subject of Britain so I guess I could just use the meaning of In Britain, it is an unofficial title of respect, having no precise significance, which is used to denote a high but indeterminate social status.

    People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazi's. You can't trust people. - Super Hans.
  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    huh

    well, i don't know, all i know is i'm kind of annoyed that there are so many people with my same name that i don't even show up till like the 9th page of google

    shieeeeeet

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  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Along these lines though, kakos is kind of close to the type of thing I was suggesting - we don't have to encode history in our names at all (thus the thread title) - but it seems prudent to make a name pronounceable so it's memorable as well. Could you, for example, make UUIDs which would be unique AND phonetic?

    There's no reason you couldn't. If you start with a phonetic syllabary like hiragana/katakana from Japanese and use it to determine a base, you could then pick how many unique names you wanted to be able to generate, choose the appropriate number of syllables, and then start cycling through numbers in base 45 or whatever (possibly randomly selected and with some simple rules in place to prevent having people named 'nounounouno'). Japanese has 46 phonemes, all but one of which ends in a vowel and the last one being a nasal, so it would be fairly simple to pick a set of constraints to keep names pronounceable and not overly repetitive. Call it base 45 to allow for the names that would be unusable and a 6-syllable name-length would give you 8.3 billion unique ID's. Stepping up to 7 syllables gives you 374 billion.

    Until this coming year, SSN's issued in the US were generated by using a 3-digit regional code and a 2-digit group code so that only the last 4 digits were actually not pre-determined for a given new SSN issued. You could adopt a similar scheme for pronounceable UIDs, where a few syllables of your ID represent your region of birth and a couple more your rough time of birth, so everyone from, say, New Jersey in the late 70's would be named Atatsu-Kushi-<4-syllable-unique-name>. You could then go by your shortened unique name in the same way that most day-to-day applications don't require more than the last 4 digits of your SSN. It would just be a 4-digit number with 4 million potential values.

    Not that I think this is a good idea as a naming scheme. If we ever find ourselves with a world government or a global identity database, though, it would be a good system to prevent people having to memorize a 11+ digit number.


    Edit: for clarity, the 'go by your 4-syllable shortened name' was intended as a workaround for everyone having samey, 7-syllable last names. In the region you grow up, Everyone would be named Atatsu-Kushi-whatever, and going by just <first name> <last-4> would very nearly guarantee you not overlapping anyone else in the region. Also so that kids learning to spell their name don't necessarily have to learn to spell a name that's 30+ letters long.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    So, why should our names even encode our heritage at all? Why even have more than one name? We need one identifier which is globally unique, which in modern times is best handled by an identification number, and one identifier which is locally unique or close to to differentiate us from people in our social groups. Thus, we should reduce our names to a name of our choosing followed by our global identification number.
    Because we're human beings, not products.

    On my father's side, I can trace his family's name to Prussia in the 16th century. There's even a river with the same name in the region where they're from. On my mom's side, I can trace the family's name to the battle of Kosovo in 1389. And my first name comes from a family member who died in a Nazi death camp.

    None of this type of history is required when picking names, of course. But I don't see why anyone would want to give up something like that in favor of some nerdy desire to give us all "unique" names.

    No one is saying give that away. I think that encoding that in your name is a pretty fucking stupid way of doing it and kind of pointless.
    For you, maybe. But not to most people who have a sentimental attachment to their family history and heritage.

    What's your complaint, anyway? It's not like anyone is forced to adopt any naming tradition. You can name your kids and yourself whatever you want.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I really need to stop agreeing with Modern Man.

    It's getting disconcerting to say the least. :)

    I guess I'm just not seeing what's so wrong with how things are. I mean, do I dislike my last name? Not as much as I did in high school.

    I actually kinda like my name.

    I also like not being able to find me on Google for at least the first several pages. Means I did what I was aiming to do in the whole 'not easily found' thing. Hell, it takes like 17 pages on facebook to find me and I use my real name there.


    I guess it just depends on whether or not you like yourself? I got no idea. But then, I put a lot of emphasis and connection to my family heritage... I can see that some people don't. I don't necessarily get that, but I know it's true.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    One of the biggest problem I see with our current traditional system is that it's problematic for those who do any work in their field before marriage. A previous girlfriend of mine was concerned about changing her name when she was married, since she was working towards getting published. She wanted to always be quickly associated with her previous work, but that's harder when you switch names after the start of your career. She could keep her own name of course, but that could provide a problem for the person she marries if they are in the same position. Plus, then you might have potentially messy situations where parents don't have the same last names as their children.

    I think the best way, that is likely to catch on, and hell already has in many cases, is for one of the partners, generally the woman according to tradition, to change their maiden name to their middle name, and take the partners last name. So when Jane Smith marries John Doe, her name becomes Jane Smith Doe, and signs her work as such. It's easy to associate Jane Smith with Jane Smith Doe, especially since Smith is not a common first name.

    Also, I don't see my last name as functioning to show I'm of European descent, but rather to associate me with my parents, grandparents, sibling, and any children I have. It's extremely practical to be able to link relatives together.

    You know that it is really not that big of a deal nowadays if families don't have matching names, right?

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  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    One of the biggest problem I see with our current traditional system is that it's problematic for those who do any work in their field before marriage. A previous girlfriend of mine was concerned about changing her name when she was married, since she was working towards getting published. She wanted to always be quickly associated with her previous work, but that's harder when you switch names after the start of your career. She could keep her own name of course, but that could provide a problem for the person she marries if they are in the same position. Plus, then you might have potentially messy situations where parents don't have the same last names as their children.

    I think the best way, that is likely to catch on, and hell already has in many cases, is for one of the partners, generally the woman according to tradition, to change their maiden name to their middle name, and take the partners last name. So when Jane Smith marries John Doe, her name becomes Jane Smith Doe, and signs her work as such. It's easy to associate Jane Smith with Jane Smith Doe, especially since Smith is not a common first name.

    Also, I don't see my last name as functioning to show I'm of European descent, but rather to associate me with my parents, grandparents, sibling, and any children I have. It's extremely practical to be able to link relatives together.

    You know that it is really not that big of a deal nowadays if families don't have matching names, right?

    My experience is that you have to travel with proof of marriage or parentship (I don't think that is a word but you know what I mean) if you are traveling with kids or a spouse with a different name and want to do things like go through customs as a family. If you have the same name you generally don't have to produce documents to prove these relationships. But maybe that was just a rogue customs officer and isn't official policy.

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Kistra wrote: »
    My experience is that you have to travel with proof of marriage or parentship (I don't think that is a word but you know what I mean) if you are traveling with kids or a spouse with a different name and want to do things like go through customs as a family. If you have the same name you generally don't have to produce documents to prove these relationships. But maybe that was just a rogue customs officer and isn't official policy.

    I suppose that traveling (particularly internationally) with children might be the large exception, as there has been a huge push in the past few years to prevent kidnapping and trafficking. Even babies need passports now.

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  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2010
    One of the biggest problem I see with our current traditional system is that it's problematic for those who do any work in their field before marriage. A previous girlfriend of mine was concerned about changing her name when she was married, since she was working towards getting published. She wanted to always be quickly associated with her previous work, but that's harder when you switch names after the start of your career. She could keep her own name of course, but that could provide a problem for the person she marries if they are in the same position. Plus, then you might have potentially messy situations where parents don't have the same last names as their children.

    This isn't nearly as big an issue as your ex thinks it is. Lots of women keep their maiden name for their professional career, but use their married name for their personal life.

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  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    One of the biggest problem I see with our current traditional system is that it's problematic for those who do any work in their field before marriage. A previous girlfriend of mine was concerned about changing her name when she was married, since she was working towards getting published. She wanted to always be quickly associated with her previous work, but that's harder when you switch names after the start of your career. She could keep her own name of course, but that could provide a problem for the person she marries if they are in the same position. Plus, then you might have potentially messy situations where parents don't have the same last names as their children.

    This isn't nearly as big an issue as your ex thinks it is. Lots of women keep their maiden name for their professional career, but use their married name for their personal life.

    Yes, but only one of those names is their legal name. Usually the maiden name because your professional certifications have to be in your legal name. While it is very easily socially to go by a name that isn't your legal name you still have issues when traveling and doing official stuff with your family when part of your family has a different name.

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I think the best way, that is likely to catch on, and hell already has in many cases, is for one of the partners, generally the woman according to tradition, to change their maiden name to their middle name, and take the partners last name.

    Why only one of the partners (and let's face it, 99% of the time this means 'the woman taking her husband's last name')? What if she likes her middle name? What happens when they divorce?

    I took my ex's last name the first time I married. It was a pain in the ass to use and a bigger pain in the ass to change back. And there was no good reason for it other than he would have been an asshole about it if I'd kept my name (yes, I know, I shouldn't have married him in the first place, okay?).

    Again, this isn't about whether a particular individual's choice is or isn't "right", but having BTDT, it's always tiresome to listen to people especially guys who will never have to change their names speculate about what a great system it is for women to do it, or how women can just move their names around and shit. Maybe Margaret Atwood had the right idea, right?

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  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Kistra wrote: »
    Yes, but only one of those names is their legal name. Usually the maiden name because your professional certifications have to be in your legal name. While it is very easily socially to go by a name that isn't your legal name you still have issues when traveling and doing official stuff with your family when part of your family has a different name.

    Never been a problem. People just seem to assume that if a little kid is calling you "Mommy" or "Daddy" that you are, in fact, Mommy or Daddy, especially in an age of blended families and people not changing their names. Internationally, you'd better have birth certificates anyway because of the problem of biological parents kidnapping children.

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Along these lines though, kakos is kind of close to the type of thing I was suggesting - we don't have to encode history in our names at all (thus the thread title) - but it seems prudent to make a name pronounceable so it's memorable as well. Could you, for example, make UUIDs which would be unique AND phonetic?
    Tango-Beta-Eta 3125. People can use the first three words for normal conversation and the whole thing for more formal stuff. If needed, the letters can easily be turned into numbers due to letters also representing numbers in Greek.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Also, what the hell is wrong with new names that aren't just actually new spellings of old ones?

  • lonelyahavalonelyahava One day, I will be able to say to myself "I am beautiful and I am perfect just the way I am"Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Also, what the hell is wrong with new names that aren't just actually new spellings of old ones?

    elaborate? I'm not sure what you're getting at...

  • Kobi Kobi KooKobi Kobi Koo __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2010
    No what the fuck is wrong with just asking someone what their heritage and family history is if you're that fucking interested?

    Jesus Christ ELM, this is just more pretentious "futurist" bullshit, providing solutions to problems that don't exist. Stop that shit.

  • FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Kobi is more or less incapable of making a point in a civilized fashion, but this does seem more than a little bit on the asinine side.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    No what the fuck is wrong with just asking someone what their heritage and family history is if you're that fucking interested?

    Jesus Christ ELM, this is just more pretentious "futurist" bullshit, providing solutions to problems that don't exist. Stop that shit.

    The status quo is hardly a tradition of fairness and equality, but does nominally encode certain ideas. If people didn't find it somewhat important, it wouldn't be the status quo.

    If we want a better world, we need to look at all aspects of it.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    No what the fuck is wrong with just asking someone what their heritage and family history is if you're that fucking interested?

    Jesus Christ ELM, this is just more pretentious "futurist" bullshit, providing solutions to problems that don't exist. Stop that shit.

    The status quo is hardly a tradition of fairness and equality, but does nominally encode certain ideas. If people didn't find it somewhat important, it wouldn't be the status quo.

    If we want a better world, we need to look at all aspects of it.

    In the grand scheme of things I'm going to say making a big deal out of wives taking husband's last names is pretty damn low on the priority list.

    sig.jpg
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    No what the fuck is wrong with just asking someone what their heritage and family history is if you're that fucking interested?

    Jesus Christ ELM, this is just more pretentious "futurist" bullshit, providing solutions to problems that don't exist. Stop that shit.

    The status quo is hardly a tradition of fairness and equality, but does nominally encode certain ideas. If people didn't find it somewhat important, it wouldn't be the status quo.

    If we want a better world, we need to look at all aspects of it.

    In the grand scheme of things I'm going to say making a big deal out of wives taking husband's last names is pretty damn low on the priority list.

    Depends how much of an effect you think language and modes of thinking have on our actions. I'd say it's probably somewhat important in setting the overall zeitgeist, though not so important that I'd bother taking it much further then an internet forum. EDIT: For the time being.

  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    In the grand scheme of things I'm going to say making a big deal out of wives taking husband's last names is pretty damn low on the priority list.

    All kinds of things can be dismissed 'in the grand scheme of things' (obesity epidemic? what about DARFUR, huh, Mr. Priorities?), particularly when they're things that don't personally affect you and don't matter to you.

    It's pretty silly to make a big deal out of it in the sense of mandating some kind of bizarre futuristic number-encoding scheme. It's not silly to point out that the traditional Western naming convention uses women's last names to indicate which male currently has jurisdiction over them, and to question whether this should be the default.

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    mythago wrote: »
    In the grand scheme of things I'm going to say making a big deal out of wives taking husband's last names is pretty damn low on the priority list.

    All kinds of things can be dismissed 'in the grand scheme of things' (obesity epidemic? what about DARFUR, huh, Mr. Priorities?), particularly when they're things that don't personally affect you and don't matter to you.

    It's pretty silly to make a big deal out of it in the sense of mandating some kind of bizarre futuristic number-encoding scheme. It's not silly to point out that the traditional Western naming convention uses women's last names to indicate which male currently has jurisdiction over them, and to question whether this should be the default.

    Don't ascribe motivations to me. I'm a strong feminist. Women's rights mean a great deal to me.

    And yeah I'm pretty comfortable prioritizing things like genocide and nationwide health crises over the optional tradition of taking the husband's name.

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  • DusdaDusda is ashamed of this post Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Last time I checked, there were about 30 Dustin Dahl's in the United States alone. One of them added me on Facebook recently; he's a laid back small town dude in Minnesota who manages a bar and likes to participate in Horseshoe competitions. In other words, pretty much the polar opposite of me.

    I mostly go by Dusda on the web, and with my close friends, family, and colleagues. The name has somehow remained unique (occasionally the goddamn USDA collides with it on Google, but that's about it), and easy to remember.

    If I had a larger ego I'd probably consider making it legal.

    and this sig. and this blog..
  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    And yeah I'm pretty comfortable prioritizing things like genocide and nationwide health crises over the optional tradition of taking the husband's name.

    Because A is more important than B, nobody is allowed to say that B is a problem. Any negative statements about B can be logically countered and utterly dismissed with the statement "A is far more of a problem than B."

    Also, it is perfectly OK for me to expend my energy telling people who complain about B "You are misplacing your energy and should instead be discussing A."

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  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I figured I may as well google it and this is what I got from wikipedia

    Esquire (abbreviated Esq.) is a term of British origin (ultimately from Latin scutarius in the sense of shield bearer via Old French "esquier"). In Britain, it is an unofficial title of respect, having no precise significance, which is used to denote a high but indeterminate social status.[1] Esquire is cognate with the word squire, which originally meant an apprentice or assistant to a knight. Relics of this origin can still be found today associated with the word esquire. For example in the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, "Esquire" is today the most junior grade of membership. In the United States, the suffix Esq. most commonly designates individuals licensed to practice law, and applies to both men and women.

    I'm not in the U.S. and technically I think I'm a subject of Britain so I guess I could just use the meaning of In Britain, it is an unofficial title of respect, having no precise significance, which is used to denote a high but indeterminate social status.

    Ha, so basically 'esquire' is a title that means 'this guys is cool though nobody knows why'?

  • Cire_ArodumCire_Arodum Registered User
    edited December 2010
    mythago wrote: »
    I think the best way, that is likely to catch on, and hell already has in many cases, is for one of the partners, generally the woman according to tradition, to change their maiden name to their middle name, and take the partners last name.

    Why only one of the partners (and let's face it, 99% of the time this means 'the woman taking her husband's last name')? What if she likes her middle name? What happens when they divorce?
    I think enough people are happy with the current tradition, or not bothered by it enough to go against it, that moving too far away from it wouldn't catch on. I wouldn't force anyone to follow a particular pattern. If you don't like it, don't do it. My girlfriend and I both are in favor of this pattern. She has a middle name already, but she can have 2 middle names if she likes. If a couple divorces it's up to them whether they change their names.

    I took my ex's last name the first time I married. It was a pain in the ass to use and a bigger pain in the ass to change back. And there was no good reason for it other than he would have been an asshole about it if I'd kept my name (yes, I know, I shouldn't have married him in the first place, okay?).
    Again, this isn't about whether a particular individual's choice is or isn't "right", but having BTDT, it's always tiresome to listen to people especially guys who will never have to change their names speculate about what a great system it is for women to do it, or how women can just move their names around and shit. Maybe Margaret Atwood had the right idea, right?
    Agreed that there is no right or wrong, just whatever a particular couple prefers. And current tradition certainly isn't without flaws, but I don't see anything particularly better.

  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    My girlfriend and I both are in favor of this pattern.

    I'm missing the logical connection here between "I like it" and "this is objectively the best".

    The flaws in the current tradition are that it treats males as having real last names which are "theirs", and females' last names as not really 'theirs' but merely an indicator of whether they are under their father's or husband's roof. This is why it was ironic when people were creeped out that Handmaids had their names replaced with the name of the man whose child they were to bear (the narrator of The Handmaid's Tale is "Offred" because she's in Fred's household).

    (Of course, somebody's going to bitch about this so I feel obliged to point out again, if you like the tradition anyway, it's nobody's business if you do. But there's a difference between saying "I like X" and "X is the best way to do it.")

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  • DramDram Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Perpetual wrote: »
    Shakespeare said, "What is in a name?"

    I couldn't agree more.

    It's just a name.

    History is in a surname. Generally it's the ancient history of your family. For someone with the last name of Norman it can mean that they have French or Scandinavian heritage. Way back in the dark ages, Vikings called themselves "norðmenn", meaning Men of the North. Norman was at this point used as an indicative name to show both English and Scandinavian ancestry. At the time of the norðmenn settlement in England, the Normans were also invading from Normandy, thus the name Norman can indicate either Viking or French ancestry. Perhaps even both in some cases.

    My own surname means Raven in several Gaelic dialects, and thus indicates a Gaelic heritage. Most likely Irish.

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Idea--replace the middle name with a matrilineal name that plays a mirror image role to the patrilineal name. It functions exactly the same way, and traces the exact same relations, but among female family members instead. The generic form of a name would then be: [Given Name], [Matrilineal Name], [Partrilineal name]

    An Example:
    Sally Phillips Steele marries James West Johnson.

    When they marry the woman takes the man's patrilineal name (just as we already do), and the man takes the woman's matrilineal name (this is new) and they become:
    Sally Phillips Johnson and James Phillips Johnson

    Their children are then:
    Daniel Phillips Johnson and Evelyn Phillips Johnson.

    The patrilineal name would still trace the exact same family structure as it currently does; there would just be a structurally symmetric counterpart that also traced female family relations.

    Of course, getting people to do this is a pipe dream, but I find it interesting as a theoretical conception of a more egalitarian naming scheme.
    Spoiler:

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Idea--replace the middle name with a matrilineal name that plays a mirror image role to the patrilineal name. It functions exactly the same way, and traces the exact same relations, but among female family members instead. The generic form of a name would then be: [Given Name], [Matrilineal Name], [Partrilineal name]

    An Example:
    Sally Phillips Steele marries James West Johnson.

    When they marry the woman takes the man's patrilineal name (just as we already do), and the man takes the woman's matrilineal name (this is new) and they become:
    Sally Phillips Johnson and James Phillips Johnson

    Their children are then:
    Daniel Phillips Johnson and Evelyn Phillips Johnson.

    The patrilineal name would still trace the exact same family structure as it currently does; there would just be a structurally symmetric counterpart that also traced female family relations.

    Of course, getting people to do this is a pipe dream, but I find it interesting as a theoretical conception of a more egalitarian naming scheme.
    Spoiler:

    Isn't something like this already the system in place in Spain? I know Spanish-speaking countries in general use a (mother's paternal family name) (father's paternal family name) combined last name scheme, but I believe Spain, in particular, preserves maternal last names.

    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Jesus, people. This thread is like a running gunbattle with stupid bullets.
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Idea--replace the middle name with a matrilineal name that plays a mirror image role to the patrilineal name. It functions exactly the same way, and traces the exact same relations, but among female family members instead. The generic form of a name would then be: [Given Name], [Matrilineal Name], [Partrilineal name]

    An Example:
    Sally Phillips Steele marries James West Johnson.

    When they marry the woman takes the man's patrilineal name (just as we already do), and the man takes the woman's matrilineal name (this is new) and they become:
    Sally Phillips Johnson and James Phillips Johnson

    Their children are then:
    Daniel Phillips Johnson and Evelyn Phillips Johnson.

    The patrilineal name would still trace the exact same family structure as it currently does; there would just be a structurally symmetric counterpart that also traced female family relations.

    Of course, getting people to do this is a pipe dream, but I find it interesting as a theoretical conception of a more egalitarian naming scheme.
    Spoiler:

    And it still doesn't solve any supposed issues with preserving the matrilineal name; it just delays it a generation, as the woman's family name will still disappear a generation later.

    If it's so important that we preserve the names of both parents, going back generations, we're going to get into Drac territory really damn quickly.

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    No what the fuck is wrong with just asking someone what their heritage and family history is if you're that fucking interested?

    Jesus Christ ELM, this is just more pretentious "futurist" bullshit, providing solutions to problems that don't exist. Stop that shit.

    The status quo is hardly a tradition of fairness and equality, but does nominally encode certain ideas. If people didn't find it somewhat important, it wouldn't be the status quo.

    If we want a better world, we need to look at all aspects of it.

    In the grand scheme of things I'm going to say making a big deal out of wives taking husband's last names is pretty damn low on the priority list.
    Especially since it's a purely personal and private decision. If a couple decide that the wife will take the husband's name, that's their right and no one else's business. I'm not aware of any law that forces women to change their name upon marriage.
    mythago wrote: »
    I'm missing the logical connection here between "I like it" and "this is objectively the best".
    There's no objective "best" approach when it comes to choosing what convention to follow. Personal preferences are pretty much the only relevant standard.

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