Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Making a Mesh of the Next Generation

Benjamin Zimmer argues in Slate that, despite a recent spate of articles, it is not yet a trend for brides and grooms to "mesh" their surnames upon marrying. At the same time he cites some early examples, and notes that parents have been meshing with their kids' names for years.

Couples who tried to do this sometimes ran afoul of antiquated statutes regulating the naming of children and had to plead their cases in court. In Hawaii in 1979, Alena Jech and Adolf Befurt successfully fought to give their son the surname Jebef. A few years later in Florida, Dean Skylar and Christine Ledbetter won the right to name their son Sydney Skybetter. (In 1987, New Jersey pre-empted yet another court challenge by revising its regulations when a Greenberg and a McBride wanted to name their child Greenbride.) [Link]

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