A close friend of mine is married to a countess with a very long fancy name. My friend, despite being rather wealthy, has no title. And a short ugly last name that sounds like the French word for "fart". He has a brother who has kids as well. His wife has 3 sisters, no brothers. I asked my friend once whether he didn't ever consider taking his wife's name, given that this way his daughters would have a title and pass on a very cool grand old name. My friend, who normally is a very liberal person, looked at me in horror. No, he never once did! Then he added that his wife's family would have been absolutely opposed to anything of the sort. Apparently the father-in-law would rather have the name die out than one of his daughters pass it on....
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