Hyphenated Names and Job Security

The hyphenated name fad is a conspiracy to keep software engineering jobs secure. What will we do 20 years from now (and every 20 after) when two hyphenated named people marry?

We’ll have a y2k-scale crisis of last name field lengths in forms and databases, that’s what.

When Mike Smith-Jones-Anderson-Smith-Snow marries Jane Doe-Jones-Anderson-Jackson-Williams, and little Bobby Tables is born (with last name Smith-Jones-Anderson-Smith-Snow-Doe-Jones-Anderson-Jackson-Williams, 67 characters), all hell will break loose. Then, 20 years later, when the common last name has 120+ characters, all hell will break loose all over again.

That’s why I always make my last name db columns type longtext.

Edit: Apparently we’ve been here before, check out this comment by bediger4000 from hacker news on this post:

Laugh at this guy all you want – the late medieval heralds had much the same problem. See Wikipedia on “Quartering“, specifically the arms for the Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville family.