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Q: I have a quick question that I can't seem to find an answer for in any of the etiquette books and sites I've checked out. My name now is Melinda Mary Smith. After I marry, I will be hyphenating my name with my fiancé’s, so my full name will be Melinda Mary Smith-Jones. How do I handle my new initia... read more

Q: I have a quick question that I can’t seem to find an answer for in any of the etiquette books and sites I’ve checked out. My name now is Melinda Mary Smith. After I marry, I will be hyphenating my name with my fiancé’s, so my full name will be Melinda Mary Smith-Jones. How do I handle my new initials, especially for things like monograms? I really value my maiden name and want it to remain part of my name. Should it be M.M.J.?

A: If you decide to hyphenate your name, your initials will remain MMS. In order for you to have four initials, you would have to add your husband’s name without the hyphen, becoming MMSJ. The other choice, which is rather popular among modern women, is to drop your middle name and have your maiden name become your new middle name. Using this formula, you would become Melinda Smith Jones. And your initials would be MSJ.

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Jodi R. R. Smith is a nationally known etiquette expert and author. She is the president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. You are invited to email her your etiquette emergencies at Salem@Mannersmith.com

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