2004-09-20

De names

This is sort of a tale about my name and one main confusion with it at Yale. The facts: I have a very long name in the format [FIRSTNAME X Y de LASTNAME]. X and Y are middle names, both which are family names. X is from my mother, Y and lastname is from my father. The "de" is only the preposition "of" in Portuguese. I use only [LASTNAME] as my lastname, but I could use "Y de LASTNAME". But I don't. I sign [FIRSTNAME LASTNAME] only. But in some official places my name needs to be registered in full format. There comes the trouble. The most significant place they get confused is at Sterling Memorial Library. I always ask books to get them in the desk and they are reserved by user's name lastname. In my case, it is vry rare they use only "LASTNAME". Usually, it is "X", "Y" or "Y de LASTNAME". Only because it shows up in the "system". But my ID has only "LASTNAME". Of course, I will never found who can switch and the different prsons who retrieve the books have their own system to figure out my last name. One even told me that my lastname WAS "de LASTNAME" and I should have told him before. Un-F***-belivable. My impression is that american students have not managed properly this aspect of multiculturalism. If they just used whatever they see last as lastname, it would work perfectly. Luckily my lastname is not common in US, so I can use only that in some situations. Its pronunciation is a lost cause, I just spell it, and sometimes people get it wrong anyway.

It is probably too much trouble to get rid of my middle names, but it would make things much simpler. Keep that in mind before put a weird or excessive long name on your child.

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