DEAR MISS MANNERS: My granddaughter, who has never been married, had a child. She put the last name of the father on the birth certificate as the child's last name.
I contend that this appears as if she had been married and is not correct. Would you please inform me as to what is the proper last name in this instance?
GENTLE READER: Van Rensselaer. Or whatever name your granddaughter chooses. Miss Manners is not sure whom you think your granddaughter is fooling into thinking she is married, but assures you that the government cares only for tax purposes, not moral ones.