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by Abigail Van Buren

Change in Spelling Solves Problem of Woman's First Name

DEAR ABBY: I'm responding to "Not Just Mary, in the South" (Nov. 10), the lady whose name is Mary Lou but is continually called only Mary, even though she prefers being called by her full name. I had the same problem.

My name is Mary Ann, but I was constantly called Mary, which I hated. To solve the problem, I combined the names and started writing my name as one word -- Maryann. Since then, I have never again been called Mary.

By the way, when I also had to give the initial of my middle name, because the "A" was no longer available, I started using "B," which is the first letter of my maiden name. Mary Lou should try this, and I hope it is as effective for her as it was for me. -- MARYANN IN TENNESSEE

DEAR MARYANN: I'm printing your letter because it included the most frequently mentioned suggestion by other readers, and also because it makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing.

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