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Our society is at a turning point in what we call ourselves. Hyphenated names (as mine recently became) are on the rise, as it stops becoming expected for wives to simply take their husbands’ surnames as their own, and instead one or both join their names together, or leave them unchanged and pass on a hyphenated surname to their children. It’s a great way for people to feel like they’re members of both sides of the family, to share a name, and to still hold on to the name they’ve grown up with.

The problem is, it’s an unsustainable solution.

Sure, my name went from two syllables to three. No biggie. But what if I had a child who married the offspring of The Cascade’s illustrious editor-in-chief, and they combined their names? Little Bobby Mijo-Burch-Robertson-Taylor would be a bit of a mouthful, and the length grows exponentially from there. It’s not a viable long-term solution, and it would be wise to look to other cultures who have different methods of combining familial names in a more manageable way.

But hey, that’s a problem for future generations to worry about.

Image: Amara Gelaude/The Cascade

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