FSP recently wrote a blog post about her daughter’s last name, a hyphenated combination of FSP’s and her husband’s last names. This post intrigued me, because I also have a hyphenated last name, but not from birth. I got married well into my postdoc, and didn’t want to “lose” my prior publications. But I also wanted to share a name with my husband – hence, the hyphenation. For the record, Hubby didn’t care what name I went with.
Fast forward several years, and I love my long-long name. Both mine and my husband’s last names are fairly uncommon, so if you google my current name, you find me. Just me. Which is kind of nice. I also like the blend, the complexity, the reflection of different cultures, and even the fact that it doesn’t fit on some government forms (social security – I’m looking at you). I also like that I have part of my son’s last name. Call us old-fashioned, but we decided to stick with the tradition of giving him his father’s last name. His is a cool name, with a rich genealogy. Another reason I liked sharing that name.
The one problem with my long-long last name has been reactions from other’s. Some people don’t like saying it, or even spelling it out, completely. Quite frequently, Hubby’s part gets cut off when I’m introduced, or during email correspondence. I’ve even been asked if I’m going to choose one name or the other for my “professional” name. Really? Am I in Hollywood? Since when do I need to have an easy stage name to do good science?
Whatevs – I like my name, and I’m owning it. I politely correct people when they leave off the last part. When people ask which name I intend to use, I tell them I don’t have to choose – that long-long name is MY NAME. And I like it. ALL OF IT. Please, leave my long-long name alone.