Note to my readers, I wrote this piece several months ago, it has been sitting in the que since. I must have been in a, mmm, interesting mood the day I wrote it. Here is your warning: be prepared for possible snide remarks, defensiveness on the part of the writer (mmm, that would be Moi) and a stab or two at subtle humor, which probably fail. I offer my apologies before you read it!
OK, I know this is REALLY controversial out there in genie research land. It has been for years, so that's nothing new. There are those that believe if you MNU, you are well, close to as dirt as you can get.
So, what is MNU for those that have NO clue as to what I am talking about.
MNU = Maiden Name Unknown.
It is an abbreviation, oh, the horror of it, especially for Moi, one who hates abbreviations with a passion.
Where do I use this abbreviation? Well, in my data base. (What is that loud sound, ohhhh, the gasps of my readers, horror gasps, loud gasps too!)
And, here is how I use MNU:
Oh, sure, I could use, oh, Mary Unknown. I could use [-?-], or some other set of question marks or stars or just about anything in that surname field of my database.
So, why do I use MNU in my data base, when, I am fully aware that it is frowned upon by many genie researchers?
Simple, because it 'sorts' so darned nice. Here is what it looks like in my data base, when I go looking for Lashbrooks:
Lashbrook, William M.
Lashbrook, William N.
Lashbrook, William Royal
Simply put it keeps all the Lashbrooks together alphabetically. I know they are there and several times a year I have another detailed look at my MNU gals and see if I can figure out who they really are and give them back their maiden name. Over the years I have done just that, lots less MNU gals now than 5 years ago.
For the record, Mary Unknown and Lisa Unknown and Samantha Unknown, will all sort with the rest of the "Unknown" family. Trouble is, Mary Unknown was married to a Mr. Jones, Lisa Unknown was married to a Mr. Gotyourselfinknots and Samantha Unknown was married to a Mr. Clearlyouhavethisallmessedup. For me, I would rather Mary Unknown married to a Mr. Jones be sorted as Mary Jones(mnu) along with her hubby Mr. Jones and their children, Billy Jones, Christa Jones, John Jones, Marvin Jones, etc. If you have "unusual" names, this works even better to your advantage, I mean, cause really, how many Gotyourselfinknots families do you have in your data base??
If I record my unknown brides as Mary [-?-], basically the same thing happens during sorting as does with the Unknown family. All the brides with a surname of '[-?-]' sort together (and, in my case, with my data base, they sort at the top of the alphabet). Again, for me, this is not optimal.
MNU works for me, and has been working for me for about 20 years. Tis my data base, she says just a little defensively, and I get to do stuff like this my way. If it makes it somewhat easier for me and it works for me, why not??
Do you MNU?? If not, how do you handle your brides with no surnames? I love to hear how others handle situations like this, and why. I can always learn something, can't you??
clker.com, no she is not Mary Lashbrook(mnu), nor is she Mary Unknown, or Mary [-?-] She is just a graphic for crying out loud.
***Graphic of sheep with sheepish grin, courtesy of cornerstone clublambs. Their sheep however, blinks his eyes, but since I have had trouble with Blogger in the past with moving graphics, I skipped the blinkers.