Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sugarpova, a very sweet name

The other day there was an article in The Times about female tennis pro Maria Sharapova. It said she wanted to officially change her name. That is not really special. But the idea behind it is kind of weird! The Florida Supreme Court judge has to agree to it for a limited period of time only. Why? Well, she wants her name to be Sugarpova and use it in a marketing campaign to promote her line of sweets, chewing gum etc... How crazy can you be??
I had no idea that this type of request would stand a chance in a U.S. court but apparently it does (in Florida). I know for certain that here in the Netherlands the law does not mention this as a reason to apply for a change of family name. And I am certain that most European countries follow the same line.
But assuming that such a request is granted, could there be legal consequences?
If you have to sign a contract, what signature do you use?
How do you identify yourself?
If you happen to be an unmarried woman and you deliver a baby, what is the baby's surname?
Is the name change reflected in government records?
Are you responsible for your previous identity (IRS, fines, legal actions etc.)?
Are you entitled to a passport?
There must be many more questions. In any case, from a genealogical point of view I am against :)

At the same time allowing these changes creates certain possibilities. Not for everyone but still.
If Obama would be selling hangouts...
Barrack Obama
If Roger wanted to be a banker...
Roger Federal
If Jimmy wanted to promote his comic strips...
Jimmy Cartoon
If the PM was a photographer...
David Camera
If Jeb decides to run for President...
Jeb Boss
And if Paris was willing to promote a hotel chain...
Paris Marriott
The possibilities are endless. It's your turn. I am just wondering how Maria's court case will end.

The 'Sugarpova' article as published in Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad on Aug. 20, 2013.

1 comment:

biebkriebels said...

Het is toch te bizar voor woorden, je naam veranderen om een product te promoten. Ben benieuwd of het haar lukt, hoop van niet.

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