What's In A Name?

A: Ridicule, shame according to change applications

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What's In A Name?

MARCH 17--In light of recent high-profile name changes (see ACORN and Bernard Madoff's daughter-in-law), here is a collection of court applications filed by individuals desperate to ditch their given surnames.

In most cases, the plaintiffs were saddled with unfortunate names that likely prompted ridicule from friends, coworkers, classmates, and clergy. Really, nobody needs to be known as Mr. Doody or Ms. Porn. Included in the court records are applications filed on behalf of a young Ralph Lauren (nee Lifshitz), and Chad Ochocinco, the NFL star formerly known as Chad Johnson, and Jon Stewart, who settled on a variation of his given middle name. (12 pages)