Last Name First, First Name Last, Middle Initial Optional

Well here’s a “no shit” moment for those of us who have unusual last names.

All computers and some people don’t like us.

More than 50 years into the Information Age, computers in the U.S. are still getting confused by the apostrophe.

It is not just the bad luck of the Irish. French, Italian and African names with apostrophes can befuddle computer systems, too. So can Arabic names with hyphens, and Dutch surnames with “van” and a space in them.

We’re one of those with a space in our last name. I was taught to capitalize the first letter of both parts of our last name. Going Like Sixty. Therefore I have four initials in my name including my middle name. Going As Like Sixty.

I hate monograms. I mean I like them, but they look wrong no matter how they are done when using my name. Is it gSl. Wrong. Like Sixty is my last name. So gLs is wrong too. So I use GLS. (Did I mention my wife has a $10,000 embroidery machine and I have two monogrammed shirts?)

I have an uncle who loves genealogy and he actually changed the way he spelled his last name when he was seventy+ years old. He proved it was more historically accurate. Going likSixty.

The second part of my last name is usually misspelled. Sixti. I don’t care anymore. If someone repeats my name with it spelled wrong, I don’t correct them. This also confuses the credit monitoring services.

That is not a bad thing.

Back to the computers.

Often we have to tell people, “there is a space between Like and Sixty” or “look under Sixty” or “look under Like.” “Try I instead of Y at the end.”

Prescriptions used to get filed under L or S. Now the pharmacy prints a bold letter (L) on the label to take the human element out of filing.

I understand why women keep their maiden names for business after they get married. But those who hyphenated I bet are sorry they did.

I like using SSN for identification.

But for practicality, bar coding babies has to be the best solution.


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Last Name First, First Name Last, Middle Initial Optional — 10 Comments

  1. When I read that story in print, I actually thought of you!
    My unusual name sob story is that the name is famous locally (my response when people ask is “close enough for the name – but not for the money” – although I should be getting dividend checks since my family was involved at the beginning) But outside of a 50-75 mile radius, my name is butchered

  2. How about those of us who don’t use our first names at all (hate them, aren’t called by that name, etc.) and use first initial, middle name? First, most sorry-*ss software doesn’t allow for that (or for anyone’s apostrope’d, spaced or hyphenated names either). Second, some entities insist they have the name anyway, and I absolutely refuse to give it to them. (We actually refused to sign our closing documents once because they screwed up our names–both mine and his.) And then they sell their mail list and I start getting all kinds of junk mail under a name I don’t like and don’t use. And then add the fact that our last name varies from an incredibly famous last name by only one letter, so everyone (including my @#$%*! brother) spells it wrong. (He hit the Trifecta and got both the stupid and the lazy genes.)

    It makes for some really interesting junk mail. They’re trying to act like they know you and they just use those programs that grab your first name and say “Dear M.” Hah!

  3. @me again: well, L. Ron Hubbard, that is your choice and you are an idiot. 🙂
    I know a family that uses middle names because they all have the same first and last name.
    Forget about the John Smiths of the world. I would rather have my name than John Smith

  4. Well, whatever else you can say about our last name, it’s not got a space or apostrophe. (Sam got teased about his last name for the first time at school a couple of weeks ago; I was sympathetic but his dad said “Harumph, get used to it, kid.” He should know.)

  5. Actually, it wasn’t my choice. My parents gave me the first name and then decided to call me a nickname of my middle name. My husband’s parents did the same with him, so we get a double dose.

    Another reason I don’t use my first name is because that was also the name of the town tart in high school, and I wanted to distance myself so there was no confusion about who was willing to do what.

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