Friday, January 11, 2008

Mr. Alan

When I was home for Christmas, I was telling a story about the amazing, brilliant, precocious Lucy King and I quoted her as calling me "Mr. Alan." My family all chuckled. You see, in the midwest, we don't call adults by Mr. (insert first name). If we use Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. we use their last name. Otherwise, we just use their first name. This causes me to wonder why, in southern culture, adults are called Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. First Name. Is it a hybrid of respect for authority and familiarity? Anybody have a good answer for that?

4 comments:

Jerilyn said...

I also found it to be a rather odd thing when we moved to Louisville, and when I taught preschool it was automatic that moms had their kids call me "Miss Jerilyn." My theory is that it must be some way of attempting to show respect, but a little less formal than "Mam" or "Sir"... really, I have no idea.

*jcg said...

i hate-loathe-despise this. it gets under my skin in the worst way. no answers for you, though.
forgive my self-promotion, but i wrote about this awhile back too:
http://jcristg.wordpress.com/2007/08/21/mind-your-manners/

dabar96 said...

Not entirely sure, but I've lived in the south all my life, and it is as natural as syrupy sweet iced tea to me; seems to be a deferential way of showing respect when no other "titles" are available/appropriate.

Ashley said...

Man, who knows, but I've been called "Miss Ashley" so many times I forgot my last name. Hey! Hope you are well! By the way, you need to add the Craig and Ashley blog to your blogerific blogs list. I don't really write on the other one. I'm lucky if I write on our joint one. It's craigandashley.blogspot.com. Later tater