Q: Let's start with an easy question. Marina, how do you pronounce
your last name?
A: This is indeed easy, especially if you are a Romanian. Then you pronounce it like this: Me-i-la. If you are an English speaker, say May-eel-ah, or, if this is too complicated, try Mail-ah and I'll guess who you are talking about.
Q: So it's a Romanian name.
A: Yes, it is.
Q: But you sometimes seem to have a longer last name...
A: Good question. My "official" last name, the one that's in my passport, for example, is Meila-Predoviciu. But on publications I am always using the abbreviated version.
Q: P-r-... wow! how do you pronounce it?
A: Let's see: Pre(like in prey)-do(like in dough)-vi(that's just vee)-ciu(like chew). Prey-dough-vee-chew. Simple, no? Of course, if you were speaking Romanian, you would know to say Pre-do-vi-ciu right away.
Q: So Predoviciu is also a Romanian name? Where did you
A: It was given to me at birth, just like the others. Meila is after my father, and Predoviciu comes from my mother.
Q: But you are married, aren't you? How come you didn't take
your husband's name? And how is your husband called, anyways?
A: It was like this: one day I and Carl went to the Boston City Hall to get our marriage licence. There we had to fill a form. One question said - name after marriage. We started thinking: my Meila and Predoviciu with his de Marcken make 3. There are 0!x1+1!x3+2!x3+3!x1=16 possible ways to pick a last name from this set. We had to pick two, that's 16x16=256. Then we noticed that there were some other people waiting behind us and decided to stick with the names we had.
A: I see you have some more questions to ask, but now I have return to work. Come back later!