Are American newlyweds blending their last names?

Language and how we use it.
Aug. 16 2006 1:15 PM

Keeping Up With the Smoneses

Are American newlyweds blending their last names?

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Despite three decades of experimentation, the blending of surnames still subverts expectations in a way that seems to make many people (including some journalists and columnists) deeply uneasy. Perhaps some day name-meshing will truly catch on. If it does, don't blame Brangelina.

Correction, August 17, 2006: This piece originally stated that the Rudorens got married last year. They were married in 2004. (Return  to the corrected sentence.)

Ben Zimmer is executive producer for Vocabulary.com and the Visual Thesaurus, and language columnist for the Wall Street Journal.