Laurie Jackson-Stein-Hewitt-Conrad-Jones. Does Hyphenating bug you?

I work with a women who has two hyphens in her name. She takes hyphenating very seriously, and it’s her name so she should have that right to defend her own name in my opinion.

However, I think hyphenating can get a little audacious at times. Let’s say her name is Mary-Jean Jones-Moffett. Funny sounding I know, but nontheless a name. I have been told by her that when I leave the hyphen out of her name on emails and correspondence that she get’s slightly angered and wishes I would please insert the hyphen in any further correspondence or public material. I usually say no problem and oblidge.

Over this past holiday I sent Holiday cards to all of my employees and the label generator I use in word had her name listed without a hyphen. It has done this before and I have fixed it manually. However, this time I forgot and it went to her reading mrs. Mary-Jean Jones Moffett.

Her response to me was this: Phlosphr, thank you for your wonderful gift and card, my husband and I really appreciate it. However, my name is Mary-Jean Jones-Moffett, NOT Mary-Jean Jones Moffett, leaving out MY hyphen changes my name and makes it wrong. Please make sure you include MY hyphen in all correspondence to me in the future. Merry Christmas to you and Mrs.Phlosphr.

Ok, again, I do not disagree that her name has a hyphen and it should be used…but does anyone out there think her responses are a little excessive? Does a hyphen really make or break a name for people?

I work as a secretary in a pathology lab. Doctors are always calling us for results, which we look up by name. Hyphenated names are always a pain in the ass. Either they’re all run together (JonesMoffett), or only one is used (Jones or Moffett), and in one recent case, someone had entered a patient with one as the first name and one as the last (Mr. Moffett Jones). Took us a few days to work that one out.

She ought to expect mistakes like this and be forgiving about them. People with unusual names typically do, unless they’re excessively proud of their names or themselves.

Since she may not expect mistakes, and certainly is not forgiving about them, her double-hyphenation is not so much audacious as self-righteous - an eeensy chip placed delicately on her shoulder in the full knowledge that it might be lightly knocked off.

Fuck-you, Mary-Jean Jones-Moffett.

Not to hijack your thread, but if there was a poll taken of men “does it really mean a lot to you when your wife takes your name or hyphenates her name to include yours?” the number of “no’s” would be roughly equal to the number of women who answered the same to “does it really mean a lot to you when a guy drops three month’s pay on a diamond?”

I. Wanda Hughes-Kissinger now


I see your point, and I agree with it, but there’s also the danger that by being utterly passive about it, people will keep getting it wrong, and that sucks, too.

I had that happen, not with a hyphen, but an attempted name-change. I was too polite and didn’t want to embarrass people by correcting them when they used my old name. Of course, the new name never stuck, because everyone used the old one out of habit and, receiving no correction, assumed that I wasn’t serious about wanting to be called the new name. Four years later, I’ve sort of given up, and I view those few friends who use my new name as real extra special uber-considerate friends. But a little persistence on my part might have ensured that *everyone *use the name I feel really applies to me.

I do think that if she really lets a hyphen interfere with a friendship or working relationship, she’s got her priorities out of whack. But I do see where she’s coming from.

If I’m reading what you say correctly, you think guys get somehow offended when a woman decides to keep her name and take on the name of a spouse even after he drops a months pay on a small ice skating rink?

If that is what you are saying, I’d have to agree, some guys are insecure and they do not like it when their soon-to-be wives keep their given names and hyphenate their married ones.

I’m not one of those guys. That being said, my wife couldn’t wait to drop her maiden name and take mine…

In response to your thread title, yes, it does bug me a little, mainly just because it strikes me as a teeny bit pretentious (look at me! I and my family are so important that I need 2 names!), and can cause confusion as noted above.

Of course, just because I think hyphenated names somewhat stupid, every individual is certainly able to conduct themselves as stupidly as they wish.

In response to the individual in the OP, I’m afraid my response would be to solve the problem by taking that person of my holiday card list.

And who wouldn’t be proud to have the surname Philosphr appear on their checks and drivers license??? :wink:

I know a couple who decided to take it all the way. Both of them hyphenated their names. Her surname is first, his is second. So John Derferndorffer married Eloise Fantabulous and both of their last names are now Fantabulous-Derferndorffer. The brass name plate on their front door reads " The Fantabulous-Derferndorffers " which I must admit puts me in mind of a side-show act.

My ex took my name when we married, I know that it would have wounded my ego a bit had she not. I was 22 when I got married. Now, at 45? God who cares. I did ask her when we split a few months ago if she was going to go back to her maiden name and she seemed quite shocked that I’d ask. She said she didn’t know.

In the purely practical approach to this situation, I must say that electronic data tracking and processing is not very accommodating to hyphenation. You can either demand that the world bend to your will, or understand why you never get your tax refund check.

Since this was for a holiday card and not some important business related correspondence I think she should have just let that one pass instead of being snotty about it.

I hate hyphens because no one at work seems to understand how to file them.

I can’t she is the veep at my organization. :rolleyes: but I can kid her about it from time to time - her office is next to mine :smiley:

I do not have a hyphenated name, and so can’t answer that part of the question.
However, my first name contains a “k”. Many people spell a name pronounced the same way with a “c”. It annoys me when people spell my name wrong but I don’t make as big an issue out of it as this woman does.

Although, there was that pit thread where I got really cranky about it once–but that’s because it strikes me as inappropriate to act really cranky to people who spell my name wrong. Also, I was provoked. When one is forwarding an e-mail sent by me, and thus containing my name typed by me, one could take a moment to look at how I spelled my name and make sure your version is the same. And you should. But I don’t mind too much when people spell my name wrong who don’t have an obvious place to refer to where I spelled it correctly.

Our computer system at work does not allow hyphens. And it is corporate policy that women who get married during their employment will retain their maiden name followed (if they choose) by their new surname, with no hyphens.

So, if Estrella Rodriguez marries Vince Otterbein, her new name is Estrella RodriguezOtterbein.

I think I prefer the hyphens.

There’s no “yes … but” about it here. I also have a long, complicated name and people keep getting it wrong. Damn, my own mother gets it wrong. But that’s life. A mature adult accepts such errors as the cost of [channeling George Costanza]living in a society![/channeling George Costanza] and lets it go without comment.

Holiday cards have become a minefield. I can never remember which of my female relatives have changed their family names, which have not, and which have hyphenated. I take an honest stab at it and let it go. That’s life.

I have trouble with a couple of folks who have not been clear about how they want to be addressed.

For instance, I have one friend who kept her name. So, I have always addressed their cards as “Mary Smith and Bob Jones.” Now they have a child, though, so I’d like to include the whole family. I THINK the kid has both names, which now means that everyone in the family has a different last name. How the heck do you deal with that? I just made it the Smith-Jones family, and hoped they didn’t get offended.

Then there’s my cousin who lived with her boyfriend for 15 years, and suddenly decided to get married. They ran to the courthouse, got hitched, and we heard about it word-of-mouth from her parents. I never get mail from this cousin, so I don’t know if she kept her name or not. I suspect she did, but I’m not sure. Makes addressing envelopes awkward. I mean, it’s no big deal…I’ve been meaning to ask her folks…but it shows that when you aren’t clear about it, you kind of leave people going :confused:.

I have an acquaintance and they went one further with the last name confusion with respect to the kids. They have two children, the elder has the husband’s last name, the younger has the mother’s last name (she kept her name). How did they determine which kid got which name? The husband is 7 months older, so the older kid got his name.

Okay… a little weird, but that’s fine.

It’s when couples merge their names together to create a new name for their kids that I really get confused. Like Jen Smith marries Pete Jones and their kids’ last name is “Smones.”

My fiancee asked if it mattered to me if she took my name or not. It frankly never occured to me. I fell in love with SwallowGirl – No wait! That’s way to smutty! – I fell in love with CellphoneSweetheart Gal, I guess I awlay shtough my wife would be still be CellphoneSweetheart Gal. Never expected her to change her name. Don’t actually want her to, but I’m leaving it to her (I think she’s keeping her name).

When I married my beloved, I didn’t change my name. He has his last name, I have mine. Our hypothetical children, which we probably won’t have, would have his last name.

I still get stuff from his family addressed to “Snickers SpouseLastName.” All the time. And I don’t care at all.

I think that Mary-Jean-Jones-Moffett was being entirely unreasonable, especially for a Christmas card. Talk about blowing things out of all kinds of proportion. I absolutely agree with Beware of Doug. If I were you, Phlosphr, I’d put in three hyphens, just like I did above there, just to be extra sure. And when she calls you on that, just smile sweetly and say, “It’s just so hard to remember where they all go! I thought I’d finally got it right this time!”

Hell, I used to get mail addresed to Swallowed RoommateLastName and we were both male and it was before gay marriage was legal in Canada.

Makes me wonder how the hell junk mail databases are put together.

ETA: They’d use my first name, Swallowed (a very masculine name, trust me), with “Mrs.” too. I was Mrs. ManlyName RoomateLastName

I think I would add another hyphen between her first and last name, and tell her to keep track of those for when you forget one of the other ones. :wink: Mary-Jean-Jones-Moffett, now isn’t that better for everyone?

Seems silly to me to worry about it. I think I agree with Dinsdale on the whole deal and would just drop her off my list.

My wife kept her last name, but sometimes we get things addressed to her with my last name. No big deal. She had been single for 45 years with her last name, why would she change it? She struggled with changing it to my last name, but ultimately decided to keep her last name, again not a big deal to me. In fact it helps with phone solicitors–if someone calls asking for Mr. her last name, or Mrs. my last name, then we know it isn’t someone we want to talk to. Works out great for us!

Hypenating doesn’t bug me. People who make a big deal about how their names are spelled or which name you use when receiving a gift do - its rude. I kept my maiden name, so am quite familiar with Christmas cards addressed to me by the wrong name - its one of those “gee, I’m glad they remembered me” - it isn’t their fault I’m a non-traditionalist and not everyone can remember who has what name. Nor do I take it as some sort of passive aggressive slam when people don’t put my name on something - if they seem to refuse to, its more of an “aren’t they quaint.” (Granted, with a good deal of rolleyes - they aren’t worth the rise if they are intending to offend me by doing something so stupid).

Since you can’t drop her from her list, I’d apologize as out of proportion as her correction was. Apologize profusely in person. Follow up with a written note and a small plant. Make the excuse of your software, but completely and over the top accept responsibility for not double checking like you did last year. Apologize again. Three months from now you should still be saying “I just feel SO AWFUL about that, I can’t believe that after all these years I apparently can’t even get your name right. How crass of me! I KNOW how important that is to you.” Keep it up until she says “oh, that’s all right, its really no big deal.”

The tattoo it to your forearm and show her saying: “See? Now I’ll never forget!” She might call the police though. :wink: