This week's talking point originally appeared in the Student Opinion section of The Learning Network of The New York Times under the title How do you feel about your last name?
Get together with the members of your conversation group and discuss the questions below. It is a good idea to think about the questions before your talking session is held so that you won't have to improvise answers or waste any time thinking what to say.
What's your surname?
Do you like your surname?
Do you share it with many people?
And with anyone famous – or infamous?
What do you know about its meaning and history?
Have you or anyone in your family researched the origins of your surname?
How does your surname translate into another language?
What does your surname mean to you?
Do you feel attached to it?
Is it an integral part of your identity?
Has your surname ever been the subject of embarrassment or ridicule for you?
Do you know anyone who has changed their surname? Why do some people do it?
How can you legally change your name or surname in your country?
To gain some background information about the topic and to add an extra discussion element, you can read the article from The New York Times Weiner like me, in which someone tells us about the problems he's had because of his surname.