Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Naming and Claiming

I admit to spending as much time, recently, on Facebook as on Blogger. Mea culpa.

It is fascinating to reconnect with friends, from college days and even from high school days. But, there is a significant challenge for women looking for friends from the past--if those friends are also women. What NAME to use for searching.

While I may remember the family names (or last names) of those high school or college friends, I have no way of knowing their married names, unless I stayed in constant contact with them. Some I did, many I didn't. And, how should I identify myself on Facebook?

This is not a problem that my brother, also on Facebook, has. He still has the same first and last name he had while in college. My sister, another Facebook user, has solved the problem by including her birth last name along with her married last name. It works--but since our family name is somewhat lengthy (10 letters and 4 syllables), it does get a bit unwieldy.

When I got married, in the mid 1960s, it was still very much the norm for a woman to give up her last name. By the 1970s, some women solved the question of what last name by going double barrel with a last name.

We know of one couple who decided that taking a last name was too much like ownership, so they fabricated a new last name by combining elements of their first names for their children. Interesting approach--a family with 3 sets of last names: his, hers, and the children's.

Today, of course, women are as likely to retain the last name of their birth family just as men do.

The only simple solution that I can see is to have a single name that requires no last name, like Cher, for example.

So, who else can be easily identified with just one name?


photo of Cher from:


Jayne said...

Madonna, Fergie, Oprah, Pink... hmmm... I am sure there are more. :c)

Beverly said...


I'm sure I spend more time on FaceBook than you do. Any blogging that I have done has pretty much gone by the wayside. I manage to get a post up every now and then.

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm the only person in the family who steadfastly refuses to use Facebook. I know it would be far too addictive for me and I just won't be drawn in.

Laurie said...

I'm on facebook too!

Anvilcloud said...

I see you do a lot of farming on FB.

My daughter hyphenates on FB even though she doesn't in real life. Lots of people find her that way.