Done with Dunn

Regular readers may have noticed that my initials recently changed from CAD to CAE. Yes, I did the unfashionable thing in scientific circles and changed my name when I got married.

I did weigh up the pros and cons of the change before I made my decision. Neither my husband nor my parents were going to be terribly offended either way. My hubby and I are from very similar genetic and cultural backgrounds, despite being born thousands of miles apart, and my new name has the same Anglo-Celtic roots as the old one, which is nice. As I’m no longer in research, I don’t have to contend with the issue of publication – although I know a few people who continue to publish under their maiden names while using their married name for everything else. I suppose if I somehow end up being an author (or maybe even just acknowledged) on a published paper again I will use my maiden name.

I like my new name. (Is it bad that my choice between my father’s name and my husband’s name was swayed by the trade-up from 4 to 5 letters, and from 1 to 2 syllables?) I like that people refer to my husband and me as “the Es”. It has been a little inconvenient, especially since my wallet was stolen on my honeymoon and I’ve been trying to get replacement cards in a new name – everything except for immigration is more or less taken care of now. The only weird moments have been practising my new signature, and starting a new job where no-one has ever known me under any other name. I have caught myself introducing myself as my maiden name a few times, but I’m getting used to it gradually!

I recently read another blog post on this subject by Dr Brazen Hussy. She went the other way, but I wholeheartedly agree on a couple of points. First, and most importantly, respect a woman’s decision once she’s made it and only ever refer to her by her chosen name. And second, please do not address letters to us as Mr and Mrs (his first name) (our last name). Times have changed; I may have a new name but I still have the same old identity!

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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10 Responses to Done with Dunn

  1. EcoGeoFemme says:

    You’ve been tagged if you want to do a meme. See my blog…

  2. EcoGeoFemme says:

    This is an interesting topic and very personal. I was surprised when my good friend wanted to be introduced at her wedding as Mr and Mrs His Full Name. I always think that sounds so old fashioned and even rude.

  3. CAE says:

    Wow, I’ve never heard of anyone wanting to be introduced that way! Very unusual these days. BTW I’ve already done a very similar meme, so due to volume of work at the moment I’ll have to pass on this one. Sorry!

  4. EcoGeoFemme says:

    oh, no problem.

  5. Wayfarer Scientista says:

    hello, came here from Mad Hatter’s blog and think I’ll peruse around a bit. I’ve always toyed with the science writer idea…. Also, I’ve discovered that I have absolutely no ability to predict which way my friends will go on the name change thing when they get married. Or let’s say I seem to have a 100% record for guessing wrong. I have no idea what I myself would choose if I ever find myself in a marriage situation.

  6. CAE says:

    Welcome Wayfarer! I’ve been enjoying your blog too. I hope your job search goes well!My decision was definitely helped by the fact that I got to upgrade my 4-letter, 1 syllable maiden name. I shorten my first name to 1 syllable so it just sounds better with a longer surname!

  7. Wayfarer Scientista says:

    ah! You’ve been lurking 🙂 Delighted to meet you. Thanks for the well wishes on the job search.

  8. CAE says:

    Guilty as charged!

  9. Amanda says:

    Ah, another person who did the unfashionable thing. Since I got married before grad school I didn’t have to worry as much about the publishing thing. But I have been amazed at the number of people who have been offended by my name change!

  10. CAE says:

    Really? I don’t think I offended anyone, just confused and baffled them!

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