In Afghanistan, most citizens use only a single name, but lately census takers have been urging everyone to invent surnames. One guy, named Khaliuddudin, picked Mayroj as his second name, because it means “the highest.” This has made me wonder: if all Americans were suddenly allowed to select new surnames, what would happen?
– There would be way too many Skywalkers and Solos and Vaders.
– Would anyone still choose Smith or Jones, aside from people checking into cheap motels? Sadly, I bet that plenty of people would go for easy, ordinary names out of sheer laziness, the way many of us use 1234 as our passwords.
– Would there be pockets of dizzying imagination, as in Mike Iwannaluvya or Kelli #Onedirectionbiggestfan?
– Would some folks get political, as in Jason Freedomlover or Helen Indievoter?
– If teenage boys were allowed to change their names, would we get more Timmy Blackops or Timmy Bigones?
– If small children get in on this, will there be an Alison Prettykitty and a Jimmy JimmyJimmy?
– Maybe people could be paid by corporations to become Debbie Cokezero or Harold Dayquil.