Wednesday, May 6, 2009

No long names, please

Via and NYT, we learn that libertarian dystopia Germany has a law against people combining already-hyphenated surnames:

In a split decision on Tuesday, the German Constitutional Court upheld a ban on married people combining already-hyphenated names, forbidding last names of three parts or more.

Which is just hilarious, coming from a people who refer to speeding as Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitung.


James Hanley said...

My libertarian take is, since the negative effects occur primarily to the bearer of the name, wtf cares how long their name is?

My pragmatic side says, what the hell kind of people combine more than two names into a last name anyway? When Jane Martin-Henderson marries Joe Pennington-Wallace, do they really think there's any upside to naming their kid Jim Pennington-Wallace-Martin-Henderson?

Cranberry Necklace said...

Clearly, the way around this decision is to forgo the hyphens. Simply agglutinate the names: Jim Penningtonwallacemartinhenderson. Makes the surname look quite German even if the component names are English.

Scott Hanley said...

That might work here, but I'm not sure about the Germans. They're good at parsing components of long words and would probably recognize it as a clumsydodgetheauthoritiestofooldesigned.

Scott Hanley said...

Note: I originally wrote that as clumsydodgedesignedtofooltheauthorities, but it's intriguing how much more German it sounds when I shift the English vowels to the end.

Also, it's darned hard for me to type multiple words without spaces between them,