Saturday, May 03, 2008

What's In A Name?

Shakespeare: a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Olderwoman, at Scatterplot: Not if you're publishing under it.

This is a really good essay full of things we young, yet-unpublished academics should consider in our public name. Apparently a lot of complications when you take a spouse's name mid-career, or if you divorce and have to keep using that name.

When I was 16 years old, I changed my first name, which is lovely and hard to pronounce to a Anglo-sounding first name. My five siblings knew that in professional life, having a name others can pronounce and remember how to spell is helpful, even if you aren't an academic. I consider my first name to be relatively uncommon among my people (as opposed to Christy or Cindy or Kimberly), but still, Googling shows there to be a handful of other Belle Lettres out there, although most are in different fields. The urologist Belle Lettre and the chairperson of the _____ Women in Business are way accomplished, not to mention the biomedical Belle Lettre or the sociologist Belle Lettre. One is a patent lawyer though, so best to disambiguate. I added a middle initial. When I get married, I am not changing my name.

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