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Old 01-23-2009, 06:30 PM   #61
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The first name switcheroo.

Where I was was born the order of names is different. In all instances, Birth certificate, addressing, letter writing, the family name is first, followed by the given name and any other add on names. Thus the what I think Americans label as surname is the primary.

I had a lot of problems the first few years here with this.

Also the dates as used in the USA is weird. In most other parts of the world it is either day month year, or year month day, a logical progression. Not the mixed month day year business. it still drives me buggy.

Then there is the time, AM PM. I grew up with the 24 hr clock system. Took years to figure out this AM/PM business. When I went into the Army, it was pig's heaven with the military preference for the 24 hr clock.

There still are things to learn, even after almost 40 years in the USA.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:40 PM   #62
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Now I’m confused. I don’t know how to address people in this forum.

For example, when replying to a post made by ziggy29, should I use the familiar ziggy or the more formal but gender-less Mr/Ms 29. Geez, this is hard.

Even in the case where gender is apparent (but nor confirmed), such as Sarah in SC, is it proper to call her Sarah, Ms. SC, or Ms. in SC .

As for Rich in Tampa, he has already made it clear that it is Dr when the communication involves medicine, so I suppose that if he is providing a medical explanation and I want to ask for clarification, it would be Dr. _Tampa.

I think it’s quite funny to read people complain about how they are addressed – using avatars and pseudonyms instead of real names and photos.

In my case I prefer to be called Excellency or Your Majesty. Only my closest friends can call me Michael – but I consider you all to be close friends.

note - edited due to inattentiveness, not paying attention at school, and too close to dinner (the aroma was outta this world...)
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:50 PM   #63
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I've told this before...

At Safeway and other grocery stores the checkers always use you last name "Would you like help out with that, Mr. Smith." after they learn it from the grocery club card you use.

Once I was shopping where I didn't have a card. The blonde checker said "I'll use my card number so that you get the discount." At the end, sure enough: "Would you like help out with that Mr. Wilson. Oops, that's my name!"

----------------------

I tried to change the name on our Safeway card to "Hey Baby!" but it didn't go through.

----------------------

There was a German M.D. Ph.D. research scientist I worked with who insisted on being called Herr Doktor Doktor ...
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:14 PM   #64
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Now Im confused...I think its quite funny to read people complain about how they are addressed using avatars and synonyms instead of real names and photos....
Dr. Stangelove I presume?
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:20 PM   #65
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Not so sure about that, Alan. "All y'all" is obviously plural, but in my experience, "y'all" is generally used as plural, comparable to the dreaded "you guys."

Sarah? Set us straight here.
Appears that "All y'all" is used when referring to more than 2 or 3 folks, so they are both plurals.

How to Use Y'all Correctly - Southern Slang


Y'all

No matter how long you've lived in Memphis, you are most likely familiar with this basic southern word, but do you know how to use it correctly?

While "y'all" is actually a contraction for "you all," it is most commonly used in place of the plural form of "you." "All y'all" or "all of y'all," on the other hand, is generally used in place of "you all."

For example...
When speaking to two or three people: "Are y'all going to the movies?"
When speaking to several people: "Are all y'all going to the movies?"
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:23 PM   #66
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All I know is that once in a business meeting in Memphis, someone from there used what I'd describe as the plural possessive of "y'all". Damned if I will try to spell it.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:18 PM   #67
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I live in the south too and even though I am in my mid 30's, people I don't know rarely call me by my first name. My last name is hard to pronounce, yet people still give it a try and either use Mr. or Sir to address me. I only expect people to use "Dr." in a professional setting. I often have a hard time addressing strangers / people older than me / people of higher rank by their first name because it goes against the rules of etiquette I grew up with.

I still have this problem, even on line.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:20 PM   #68
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People usually call me Mrs. and use my last name. They don't know how to pronounce bbbamI.
This gets interesting, because I was briefly married but never changed my name. When a phone call asks for Mrs... I know it's spam.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:23 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Nothing wrong with asking, if it's more than a one-time deal, as in "what do you prefer to be called."
Agreed, I tend to ask up front. Of course I'm horrible at remembering names under any circumstances.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:29 PM   #70
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This gets interesting, because I was briefly married but never changed my name. When a phone call asks for Mrs... I know it's spam.
A friend of mine put her cat's name as first name on the cable bill, some magazine subs, etc.

It also makes it easy to track spam

Outside of work / similar collegial situations, I like to be formal until one of us says " Oh, just call me firstname."

ta,
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:13 PM   #71
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If your first name is being used in a demeaning way, or as a sales tactic, then I'd start dropping "sir" or "ma'am" into my responses. Eventually the other person should take the hint. If they can't take the hint then you'd have to get over yourself or get yourself to a new business.

All my decades of training in formal naval protocol & etiquette came down to one lesson: as a hotshot 23-year-old ensign I learned from crusty master chief petty officers in their 40s and 50s that respect was rendered as required-- but only freely given when earned. Today I refer to a couple dozen people in their 20s & 30s as "sir" and "ma'am" in deference to their black belts, and because they've earned it. I address some of the teen black belts that way because they've also earned it. They probably think I'm crusty.

I also address a number of customer service people as "sir" or "ma'am". Sometimes it's to show them a measure of dignity as they cope with a crappy task, and they usually appreciate it. Other times it's a reminder that it's their job to act like they're responsible for customer service. Sometimes the implied obligation works.

Kids in Hawaii usually address their elders as "uncle" or "auntie", or very occasionally Mr. Doug. You know you're getting older when people stop calling you "brah" or "sistah", so in the surf lineup I'm quite happy to be addressed as "dude"...
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:45 PM   #72
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I seem to border on dysfunctional/Asperger's and have difficulty with addressing people by their names (prefer titles).

I know it's irrational, and usually manage to get over it by directly asking folks what term of address they prefer.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:56 PM   #73
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I know the full usage of y'all and will share it with you:
Y'all is singular or plural, depending on who you are talking to.
Y'all's is something that belongs to you or your people.
All y'all is a whole mess of people.
All y'all's is the stuff a whole mess of people own.

Y'all is of course a contraction for you all, and you all can be used in place of it.
Southerners would never say you guys.
It is perfectly acceptable to ask who your people are, but you if you ask about someone else's people, then you should briefly say who your people are.

I tend to introduce myself as: Sarah (last name), Mack (maiden name)'s daughter just about everywhere. It tells people my first name, my last name, and most importantly, my family name. Introductions take a long time.
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:04 PM   #74
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Now for Maryland, where I lived for a while, (moved there from NY) is big on the "Honey" expression. When first moved there, after a few days headed to restaurant/bar.
Had dinner at the bar, along with a beer. After the the first bottle was empty, the barmaid says: you want another beer honey. I was perplexed to say the least. So I responded, geez if I'm honey after after one beer, what happens after two? She gave me a less than endearing look. A fellow, a few seats down, hearing my accent gave me the short version.

Around here it is common form to call everybody honey by waitresses.
Actually, I think you are still having a bit an of English literalism issue. I suspect if you pay closer attention you'll realize they're calling you "Hun" or "Hon". I'm out on the eastern shore of MD, and we've got a ton of Balmer immigrants here. I can understand the little old ladies calling me hon (I'm 53), but when I get it from the 18 year old grocery checkers it makes me smile. As a matter of fact native Baltimore girls are called Hons. It's a Balmer thing, Hon!

Hey HON! The Bawlamerese Lexicon
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Old 01-24-2009, 05:39 AM   #75
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Actually, I think you are still having a bit an of English literalism issue. I suspect if you pay closer attention you'll realize they're calling you "Hun" or "Hon". I'm out on the eastern shore of MD, and we've got a ton of Balmer immigrants here. I can understand the little old ladies calling me hon (I'm 53), but when I get it from the 18 year old grocery checkers it makes me smile. As a matter of fact native Baltimore girls are called Hons. It's a Balmer thing, Hon!

Hey HON! The Bawlamerese Lexicon
I knew about the "Hon", "Bawlmer" and the "Bertha's Mussels" also the "Pigtown" culture thing, was forewarned.
In fact she called me honey. Maybe a missed opportunity?

Edit add: Now if they called me "Hun" I, for the fun of it, explained that that is my ancestry. And probably would not like me to operate in my Hun mode, which I can easily switch into, used to come very handy in hostile environments and even today lurks just below the pleasant surface.
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:34 AM   #76
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Down here, waitresses also call you "Dawlin'" or "Sweetie", when they aren't calling you "Hon". They call women all of these things too. It's just a custom. It makes me feel welcome and at home in a restaurant. It makes me want to come back, something crucial to convey considering the cutthroat restaurant competition down here.

These friendly waitress greetings are sort of like the local custom of greeting friends with "How's yo mama an dem?" Nobody REALLY wants to know how your mother and family are in any great detail. It is just a friendly custom.
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:21 AM   #77
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I used to go 2 miles out of my way when I first got to Tampa just to eat at the Waffle House. I liked it when a friendly, hard-working waitress would make my day by saying, "How ya doin', Baby?"

I scared myself once by unthinkingly saying something similar to one of the very young nurses I work with. She didn't seem to mind, but I quickly and silently scolded myself - probably best not to get that homey at work.
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Old 01-24-2009, 08:59 AM   #78
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I tend to introduce myself as: Sarah (last name), Mack (maiden name)'s daughter just about everywhere. It tells people my first name, my last name, and most importantly, my family name. Introductions take a long time.
In the part of Ireland my parents grew up in, there were many families with the same Lastname. They were distinguished by the Firstnames of the father, grandfather, etc. So, for example, my mother was one of the Phil Dan (Lastnames).
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:09 AM   #79
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This gets interesting, because I was briefly married but never changed my name. When a phone call asks for Mrs... I know it's spam.
I can spot telemarketers right away because they address me as Mrs, which I wouldn't use even if I were married. As for changing names, I'm proud of my Lastname and in fact have a company that includes my mother's maiden name also. However, double barrelled names can be impractical because they multiply each generation so you have 2 to the power of n names, like Smith-Jones-Brown-Jolly-Ritter-Henry-Klein-Sullivan by the time you get to the grandkids.

I know several women who keep changing their names every time they trade in their husbands. Eventually I just call them Firstname Whatshernamethesedays?

In Germany, a guys can adopt his wife's Lastname, e.g. Herr Georg Hoffmann, ne Schmidt. I know one guy here in Canada who adopted his wife's Lastname, so he was Firstname Wife'sLastname Lastname. And then they got divorced.....

And in Quebec, it is customary for women to keep their Lastname on marriage.
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Old 01-24-2009, 09:16 AM   #80
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Continuing the topic drift a bit.

I use a hyphenated last name, that is MaidenName-Husband'sLastName.

Despite the fact that I am certain that this is a unique combination (Son is Son Husband'sLastName), I have received multiple offers for information on the MaidenName-Husband'sLastName family tree.

That would be more of a sprout than a tree.
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