if two people get married and hyphenate their last names, and then have kids… what happens when the kids get married?
say tom jones and nancy smith get married, and become tom and nancy jones-smith. or maybe tom stays as tom jones and nancy becomes nancy jones-smith or smith-jones or whatever. they have two kids, who they name billy jones-smith and laura jones-smith.
laura gets married to kevin johnson and she wants to keep her name. does she change it to laura johnson-jones-smith? or does she drop her mother’s name and go with johnson-jones? that would be a little sexist and patrician, keeping her father’s name and not her mother’s, so maybe she’d go with johnson-smith and drop her father’s name instead. really, though, it makes more sense to keep all three, and pass all three names along to her children, so they can hyphenate even more.
billy jones-smith, on the other hand, has a bigger problem, since he marries susan keller-williamson, who wants to keep all of her names as well. so they become billy jones-smith-keller-williamson. their kid marries one a hernandez-simons and they become the jones-smith-keller-williamson-hernandez-simonses.
parents: please, talk to your kids about hyphenation before it’s too late.