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Wayne K
12-12-2009, 10:18 PM
Can you change your name to anything you want?

I want to change my name to Anonymous. Would there be a problem with that?

Can I change it back afterward?

JulieHowe
12-12-2009, 10:34 PM
Are you trying to change your username on AW?

stephenf
12-12-2009, 10:39 PM
In England you can call your self anything you like ,but you can't change your birth certificate.

suki
12-12-2009, 10:40 PM
Can you change your name to anything you want?

I want to change my name to Anonymous. Would there be a problem with that?

Can I change it back afterward?

I'm assuming this is a serious question...


In the US name changes are governed by state law. In most states you file a petition with the court to legally change your name, and in most circumstances the court will approve the name change unless it is being done for nefarious or illegal purposes, or against public policy of the state - ie, to help you hide from creditors or hide a criminal background, to make a political or religious stand the court won't endorse, potentially being something else the court won't endorse.

But there have been instances in which courts have refused to approve name changes that the court deemed were being done for contravention of the law or against public policy - ie, a same sex couple both changing their last names to look like a married couple, that kind of change has been approved in some states, disallowed in others are causing a confusion the court wouldn't endorse. And in some cases, courts just flat out refuse to allow it because they don't want to be associated with the issue - like changing your name to Adolf Hitler cause you like him so darn much.

So, changing your name to Anonymous, legally, would be up to the judge...and changing it back would, again, be up to a judge, in most states.

I could see some judges refusing to approve it as potentially causing confusion, but state laws vary and some are more lenient than others - ie, some states say the judge has more or less discretion to deny the petition.

And you'd be at the mercy of the same laws to change it back, though I'd think going in and saying "This was a dumb idea, I want to go back to being ________" would probably suffice. ;)

~suki

Wayne K
12-12-2009, 10:42 PM
I just want to change it if I get published. I think it would be cool to have the authors name be -Anonymous.

Wayne K
12-12-2009, 10:43 PM
You don't see that much anymore.

suki
12-12-2009, 10:45 PM
You don't see that much anymore.

Actually, the 1996 novel Primary Colors was published by "Anonymous."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_Colors_%28novel%29

Though later "Anonymous" was outed as Joe Klein.

So...Anonymous has already published.

~suki

Wayne K
12-12-2009, 10:46 PM
I would like to confuse the public, but my book will take care of that :D

Wayne K
12-12-2009, 10:47 PM
Actually, the 1996 novel Primary Colors was published by "Anonymous."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_Colors_%28novel%29

Though later "Anonymous" was outed as Joe Klein.

So...Anonymous has already published.

~suki

Then how about Anonymous Writer?

Wayne K
12-12-2009, 10:48 PM
I wouldn't make my friends call me Anonymous, or anything.

dgrintalis
12-12-2009, 10:58 PM
Can we call you Anon? That has a nice ring. :D

Lauretta
12-12-2009, 11:15 PM
I am sure you can call, or you can sign yourself Anonymous.

AryaT92
12-12-2009, 11:59 PM
Make it your pen name?

Jersey Chick
12-13-2009, 12:03 AM
INAL, but I was told by one that you can call yourself anything you want, but you can only sign your legal name to legal things - i.e contracts, banking things - things like that.

If you want to call yourself Slappy Lipschitz, that's your call, but you can't sign anything that way (aside from autographs, I suppose) unless you go through the hassle of changing it legally.

The novel Go Ask Alice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_Ask_Alice) was also written by Anonymous. :)

PeterL
12-13-2009, 12:40 AM
Can you change your name to anything you want?

I want to change my name to Anonymous. Would there be a problem with that?

Can I change it back afterward?


Under Common Law your name is what you call yourself, unless you start using a name for fraudulent purposes. I think that calling yourself acould be considered fraudulent.

PeterL
12-13-2009, 12:44 AM
INAL, but I was told by one that you can call yourself anything you want, but you can only sign your legal name to legal things - i.e contracts, banking things - things like that.

If you want to call yourself Slappy Lipschitz, that's your call, but you can't sign anything that way (aside from autographs, I suppose) unless you go through the hassle of changing it legally.

The novel Go Ask Alice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_Ask_Alice) was also written by Anonymous. :)

In Common Law your name is what you call yourself. You can set up bank accounts pseudonymously, and sign checks using that name, etc. In places that do not use Common Law, you may have trouble with that, but it still wouldn't be illegal.

kuwisdelu
12-13-2009, 02:28 AM
I just want to change it if I get published. I think it would be cool to have the authors name be -Anonymous.

This has happened far more times than people realize. Many great novels, poetry, and stories have been published by "Anonymous."

Among them, Lord Byron's Don Juan was published by "Anonymous."

I'm not sure how this would work today.

JrFFKacy
12-13-2009, 06:10 AM
Boy, I'd love to legally change my name...and not just for publishing purposes. See, there's this certain relative that comes up almost every time I have to mention my name to a stranger. I'm not on speaking terms with this individual, so I'd sure love to lose his name!

Though a friend of mine wisely suggested I not bother, since I may end up married in the 5-yr future and can change my name then. I'm just sick of that 'Hey, if that's your name are you related to such and such?'. Grits teeth 'Yeah'. Now though, when they ask how he is, I usually reply, 'Don't know and really don't care', which stops further questions.