A serious post here, regarding my very own perfect plan for solving the dilemma of whether a woman should take her husband's name or not.
The answer is: not.
A problem with solutions that involve joining the wife's name and the husband's name is that over the generations, these names get out of hand.
My plan involves each person having a double last name. At marriage, each person keeps one of those names, and joins it with the name of his/her partner to form a new double last name that is given to the couple's children.
Here's how it works:
Girls are named MATERNALNAME-PATERNALNAME. Boys are named PATERNALNAME-MATERNALNAME.
At marriage, a person keeps the first part of the double last name, and adds his or her partner's name.
A woman would take the name: MATERNALNAME-HUSBANDSPATERNALNAME. Her husband would take the name: PATERNALNAME-WIFESMATERNALNAME.
Their female children would have the double name of the wife, and the male children the double name of the father.
John Apple-Bacon marries Mary Chestnut-Dogwood.
John's married name is John Apple-Chestnut. Mary's married name is Mary Chestnut-Apple.
John and Mary have a daughter, named Francesca Chestnut-Apple, and a son, named Hernando Apple-Chestnut.
Francesca marries a woman named Regina Soy-Burger. Francesca's married name is Francesca Chestnut-Soy. Regina's married name is Regina Soy-Chestnut.
Hernando marries a woman named Margot Lye-About, and takes the name Hernando Apple-Lye.
All the above are conventions that can be modified as people see fit. But they offer an overall structure that ensures that women keep their matronymic heritage. That each partner in a couple brings a contribution to a common family name, and that family relationships can be traced rather than erased in family names.