Can I start hyphenating my name?
April 5, 2011 4:07 PM Subscribe
Can I abruptly start hyphenating my last name?
posted by ziggly to Law & Government (9 answers total)
Right now my legal name is of the form Jane Plain Smith; I usually go by Jane Smith. Thinking of taking a form of my mother's maiden name so that I'd be, say, Jane Doe-Smith. I partly want to do this to feel like I have a different identity, and partly because my name in its current form doesn't reflect my mixed heritage whatsoever.
I don't like using my real middle name or my mother's real maiden name much because of ID theft issues. There are several possible phonetic spellings of my mother's maiden name in English; I'd avoid using the form my family has volunteered in "Forget your password?" type questions, which is probably now firmly lodged in multiple databases.
I'm asking in part because I'll be applying to jobs soon, and I (foolishly) run a semi-obscure political blog in my own name, which is pretty easily googled. I was earnest enough when I wrote the posts, but I've had a hard time finding any sort of employment in like-minded think tanks and nonprofits, and at this point I'm pretty burned out on it. At best, I don't think its content is very transferable/interesting to people outside of that little circle, and at worst it probably makes me sound like a bit of a wackadoodle.
So, is it cool to just start doing this? Is it going to look like I'm trying to conceal my activities? I don't have any intention of changing my name on official documents for now. Will I have to do so later down the line?