Why Can’t I Have A Name Badge?

longest name badge
I love people who are trying to be completely reasonable, but the circumstance of their lives just make it impossible. A woman in Hawaii has been having problems with getting her state ID card from the US government because her name is, wait for it,
Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele

Normally she just goes by the name of Janice “Lokelani”, but for official documents, such as a driving license she has to use the full version. The problem with her ID is that the name field can only accept 35 characters, and her surname alone has 36, so the last “e” is being dropped off, and her first names don’t appear at all. Quite reasonably she says that if her full name has to be used, then is should be correct.

Printing Machines Vs Culture

The reason she has such a long name is that in Hawaiian culture the surname is used to describe details of the family history, and from the name alone you can trace the lineage of her husbands’ family back through several generations.  Changing or abbreviating the name for official reasons would be a mark of disrespect to her husbands’ entire ancestry.  Faced with the cultural implications, officials are trying to change the technology in the document and badge production departments to cope with not just this, but future cases.

Interestingly, the problem presented to name badge printers the world over is hardly a new one.
The longest name on record belonged:
Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfe­schlegelstein­hausenberger­dorffvoraltern­waren­gewissenhaft­schaferswessen­schafewaren­wohlgepflege­und­sorgfaltigkeit­beschutzen­von­angreifen­durch­ihrraubgierigfeinde­welche­voraltern­zwolftausend­jahres­vorandieerscheinen­wander­ersteer­dem­enschderraumschiff­gebrauchlicht­als­sein­ursprung­von­kraftgestart­sein­lange­fahrt­hinzwischen­sternartigraum­auf­der­suchenach­diestern­welche­gehabt­bewohnbar­planeten­kreise­drehen­sich­und­wohin­der­neurasse­von­verstandigmen­schlichkeit­konnte­fortplanzen­und­sicher­freuen­anlebens­langlich­freude­und­ruhe­mit­nicht­ein­furcht­vor­angreifen­von­anderer­intelligent­geschopfs­von­hinzwischen­sternartigraum, Senior.
Thankfully he went by the name of Hubert Blaine Wolfe+585, Sr.  This was because there are 585 characters after “Wolfe” in his last name (he died back in the 1985).
So however you feel about your own name right now, take heart from the fact that you can probably get a name badge printed without having to take the local authority to court.

And you thought name badges were just mundane!  Here’s a few more reasons they deserve a little more attention:


We Should Have Turned Left At That Last Sign!
Oh Goody - Another Greetings Card

Jim is a prolific networker, small business mentor and a supporter of anything 'community'. He is an ambassador for Young Enterprise on the South Coast and loves to spend his time encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in everyone he meets.

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