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View Diary: Talking to us and about us (17 comments)

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  •  How can you not use a person's chosen name? (3+ / 0-)
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    rserven, LinSea, VeggiElaine

    I used to get ripping mad when people assumed that I had the same surname as my husband and my (our) children. I finally got the pediatrician's office to admit that they just took the child's surname and put "Mrs." in front of it -- even though they knew that among their patients, the adult bringing the child in was just as likely to be grandma, aunt, foster parent, or whatever, or little old me who was a child of the 60s and did not change my name when I got married. The final straw was when the IRS told me, several years in a row, that I had incorrectly reported my name on my tax return. I hadn't; their computer was misprogrammed so that it assumed that I had the same surname as my husband.

    Rock stars, writers, and many other people change their names for all sorts of reasons. And why not?

    So yes, regardless of the reason someone has chosen to use a different name than is on their birth certificate, why in the world would police and the press insist on using the old one? ("Mark Twain? Never heard of him. Around here, it's Mr. Clemons.") That's just bad policy all around. And for emergency services, it's dangerous, because people are less likely to respond to a name that isn't what they use.

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