Your Reductio is My Dystopia


My mother's name was "Margaret Joskow" when she was born and so it remained throughout her life. Thus, I've always taken the traditional family values line and believed that people should hold on to their own names. So I agree with Kay Steiger:

Furthermore, I never really understood, if it's such an important issue for families to all have the same names (because how would you know you belong to one another otherwise?) why it has to be the woman that changes her name. Why can't the man? I've yet to hear a good response to that one. Changing names to become a "unit" is silly. What if you were asked to change your name each time you changed jobs or professions? People would say that's silly, but for me it's no more silly than changing your name each time you change partners.

Fortunately, we don't just need to contemplate how silly it would be to change your name every time you change jobs. Instead, we can read Max Barry's amusing sci-fi satire Jennifer Government, set in a hyper-capitalist future in which individuals use the name of the conglomerate that employs them (Nike, McDonald's, etc.), with "Jennifer Government" thus named because she works for the government.

Back to the topic at hand, isn't the inconvenience of changing your email address reason enough to stick with your original name?