Wednesday, May 06, 2009

One Hyphen Per Couple

Germany's highest court has upheld a ban on using more than two surnames.

Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim, a Munich dentist, wanted to take the last name of her husband, Hans Peter Kunz-Hallstein, to become Frieda Rosemarie Thalheim-Kunz-Hallstein. The case brought Germany’s minister of justice before the court in Karlsruhe for oral arguments in February to defend the ban on what the Germans call “chain names.”

By a vote of five to three, the court refused to budge, ruling that ballooning names “would quickly lose the effectiveness of their identifying purpose,” and declined to overturn the law on the grounds that it infringed on personal expression. [Link]


If the ruling is truly a restriction of one hyphen, and this is Germany we're talking about, I wonder to myself - 'do they really need the hyphen?'

What's wrong with Thalheimkunzhallstein as a surname? One last name. No hyphen.


John said...What's wrong with Thalheimkunzhallstein as a surname?

Omg I am laughing out loud again!


Well, we know that the Germans are not averse to long words.

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