Thursday, December 20, 2007


December being what it is, what with birthdays, Christmas, and the like, helpful questions are occasionally asked, often vague, but designed to delve into deeper holiday desires.

And so, when I receive shadowy inquiries from family or friends, I don't think much about it, and simply reply.

Yesterday, however, the missus emailed me with the following question: "If you were going to receive something monogrammed with a single initial, would you choose [G] or [T]?"

(obviously G and T are not my actual initials, but you get the idea...)

Seems like a simple question and I clicked on "reply" to answer. But then, I stopped. I stopped and thought. I pondered. I weighed.

How do I identify myself? Do I see myself in light of my first name, and thus my first initial? Do I project the G in public? Do I tell the world, "This is who I am?"

A first name is so individualistic. It is narrow. It is personal, to be sure, but does not provide a broader history. It says, "I am the sum of my own personal experience. I am alone in the world. There is nothing more to me than the smile and handshake I gave you when we met."

On the other hand, there is the last name. Mine, as most know, was adopted, which creates its own unique history. The last name tells the story of the family, the roots, where you came from. It is painted on broad cloth, and connects the dots to names and places in the past.

So, which to choose?

Having thought too long and too hard for what should have been a simple question, I broke it down to this: First initial for something casual. Last initial for something formal or business-related.

So, what would you choose?


  1. B,R,S,T are not too exciting. But mine are B.S. so what do I know.

  2. Mrs. G&T2:04 PM

    I would choose my first initial.


    Maybe it's because I have changed my last name and have histories with both my birth and married family (although given that they have the same letter, maybe that should argue for using the common last initial).

    Maybe it's because I don't feel much history with my birth surname, since legend says my grandfather drew it out of a hat.

    I do prefer 3 letter monograms, and I use them in order, not with the surname in the middle.

  3. Either name denotes wiping it with snot, really.

  4. I like the three initial... classic, makes a statement, and puts off having to pick one or the other

  5. My suggestion? A.S.S.

  6. Dave made me laugh...

  7. I personally enjoy going with "K" because I didn't change my name when I got married, and yet both mine and Allan's surnames start with "K". It's a neat little way of unifying it, I think. Our address labels and checks are monogrammed with "K", and it's pretty and swirly :-)


Be compelling.

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