Dear Miss April,
With all the shouting and hyperbole coming from magazines like Whatever, Whoever Weekly and other titular aberrations, that seem to invoke popular truncations like Bradjelina and Benjen and the like.
I was hoping you could provide some clarity on an issue that also has the whiff of currency about it.
I was penning invitation cards to a casual yet highly choreographed cocktail party and it occurred to my that I was unsure how to conjoin the names of two chaps that have tied the knot. Whats it to be a hyphenated named? Where they to keep there own surnames? It seems to me that if your going to the trouble of getting married you may as well have the trouble of having married people troubles, like messing about with your name for a start. You know like regular folk.
So as there’s no patriarchal hierarchy to insist on a name order, how does one decide? If it were based on status surely that would change so often that stationers would be run off their feet. This would be come impractical and costly very quickly. Wat about enforcing a straight [ no pun intended] swap. You’d end up with people called Jeff Singer and Garry Smith. that’s just the tip of the ice-cream cone. Perhaps it should be just done by alliterative excitement or jolly good rhythms. then the delights of Vladimir Putin John would make lovely things to write in ones impeccable penmanship.
Is there a rule for nomenclature in the new unions?
I do hope you can help
Dear George Michael
Why greetings, Sir. I hear on the grapevine you’re mightily more than a little fondl(e)y, love. Should I refer to you as Mr Goss? Or Mr Goss-Michael, or maybe just the Messrs Panagiotou. One must be in tune with the pressing concerns of the day, and if we decline to obsess over new social constructions without a sense of timeless brevity we might find ourselves at the sore end of a scathing cold shoulder.
It’s a real bother when a couple does not have the patriarchal tradition to fall back on in times such as these. Truly, who bought who and for how many goats? Those were simpler times indeed. But let us not be so glib. This is a matter that must be addressed, as there are numerous profiting opportunities for wedding planners and social etiquette authors at stake.
We, as a community, have evolved. We find ourselves in the very flux of evolution. Unfortunately, we can’t quite free ourselves of those contradictory traditions such as dominant identifiers. For myself, I imagine if I were to ever succumb to the betrothal tradition I would insist on a new name altogether. Scrap both surnames and go for something exotic, perhaps with the flair of the Spaniards – six names long, the fire of Flamenco, exhausting, confusing and aggressively fallacious.
Enough prevaricating around the bush, what you should do in this situation is address them by the names you know them as. It is the newly conjoined pair’s responsibility to address their social circle as to which naming custom they choose to adopt. A friendly word of advice though, don’t let cynicism get the better of you. After all, to come together as a family and desiring to identify as a family is a most lovely dream no matter the contradictory traditions which make up the path – and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Yours most sincerely, Mrs April dos Santos Velasquez Morillo Guillermo Cabrerra y Morales de Wagga Wagga.