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Jeremy DEagle

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Thanks for the suggestions everyone.  At least I know we are not the only ones with this problem.  I would like to sign it Mum and Dad (surname initial) because d-i-l's parents are living and will probably be sending a card too.  We don't often see d-i-l's parents, but out of curiosity, when next we meet, I think I'll ask them what they do.

 

Our step-grandson uses our Christian names, so that's how we sign cards to him and we are okay with that one. 

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I have never thought about the issue of signing cards to in-laws, but I wonder how many kids still have Aunties and Uncles?

My nieces call me Auntie MM, and my best friend's kids always have, but other friends' kids just use my name. The bigger one of my best friend's two has started dropping the auntie, which I'm ok with. But I know kids who don't even give their real aunts and uncles the title.

 

When I was a kid, all adults were Auntie, Uncle or Mr or Mrs. They didn't have first names. But I am now in the silly situation of not knowing how to address these (now elderly) folk when we meet at kids' birthdays etc. I go for eye contact or sending the kids to ask their gran if she wants more tea. 

 

How do other BGOers like to be addressed by the younger generation?

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My d-i-l does the same so I have got into the habit of  -  cards to my son always Mum, cards to d-i-I Christian name, cards to both of them Mum.  We are all comfortable with that.

 

We do the same.

I did once try the initial game and wrote 'Mum and Dad B', which really caused a laugh because I'd not thought that the in-laws were also 'Mum and Dad B', but my daughter and her husband deemed it even funnier that I had considered they might not recognise my handwriting.

 

 

When I was a kid, all adults were Auntie, Uncle or Mr or Mrs. They didn't have first names.

 

We had a few 'aunties' and 'uncles' who were really just close friends of my parents, but always with a name too (Auntie So-and-So). That seems to have died out here now too. My African friends, though,  go for this big time and everyone is 'Auntie' or 'Uncle'.

Out of work, I actually feel much easier when children address me by my first name, but I am quite formal when introducing strangers to children and will use Mr or Mrs So-and-So.

Edited by angel

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We had a few 'aunties' and 'uncles' who were really just close friends of my parents, but always with a name too (Auntie So-and-So). That seems to have died out here now too. My African friends, though,  go for this big time and everyone is 'Auntie' or 'Uncle'.

Yes, I meant with a first name too (in case that wasn't clear!), just that we would never have addressed an adult by their first name only.

But when I was in India, I loved the way the kids used "Auntie" for any adult woman.

I'll never forget being chased across a cricket pitch by about 50 kids all yelling "Auntie, Auntie!", just because I was new!

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When I was a kid, all adults were Auntie, Uncle or Mr or Mrs. They didn't have first names.

How do other BGOers like to be addressed by the younger generation?

 

I'm the same.  My parents friends were Auntie so-and-so and Uncle so-and-so and the neighbours were always Mr&Mrs.  So much so that I now have elderly neighbours whose first names I still don't know and others who are now deceased that I've never found out.  In my actual blood relations there is one aunt who still needs to be known as Auntie firstname, everybody else accepts the use of their first name, as they should I'm 48!  I have to say that this insistence on calling parental friends Auntie and Uncle caused confusion for a while when I was younger because I couldn't sort out who it was I was actually related to.

 

I don't mind anybody using my first name, so they usually do.  The neighbours' children all do.  If childrens parents insisted on something different then I'd have to agree to that but nobody ever has.  Oddly, my god-daughter and her siblings volunteered to call me Auntie firstname when they were older.

Edited by lunababymoonchild

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My d-i-l does the same so I have got into the habit of  -  cards to my son always Mum, cards to d-i-I Christian name, cards to both of them Mum.  We are all comfortable with that.

That's the option I've gone for.

I'm comfortable with that - don't know about them. As cards to me come from each son together with his wife they are always addressed to "Mum"*, but in emails from the DiLs, if any form of address is used at all, they use my Christian name.

 

*this actually irritates me, as my past and present usage is to say & write "Mom" - this is the Birmingham, or possibly Black Country pronunciation. It's what I called my mother, what my cousins and friends called their mothers, and what my nieces & nephews call their mothers.

Why it's not good enough for my Essex born sons I do not know!

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Not sure why surnames are needed Barblue. Your writing should identify you.

 

When I had them, my grandparents were Nanny and Grandad Surname in the third person. Our kids have more than their share of grandparents. But luckily they all have different titles. There is Nanny and Grandad, Nana and Gramps and Nanny Boat ('cos she used to live on a boat).

 

I had one Aunt who insisted on being called Auntie Theresa. Every other adult whether a relative or not was known by their first name - teachers excepted.

 

I've always insisted on kids using my first name and no title. Although one of my son's friends insists on calling me "James's Dad" as a joke.

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In general, most of my family calls their in-laws "Mom" and "Dad," but not always.  If not, then it's the first name except for my great uncle whose son-in-law called him "Mr. Surname."  My younger brother's wife refused to call my parents "Mom" and "Dad" and she was really trying to convey that she didn't like them very much (especially my mother, who has been an absolute saint with her).  She and my brother are now divorcing.  While I will have very little interaction with her in the future, my mother still will as long as the children are at home (if not longer), so she'll still get to continue subtly insulting my mother.  

 

My children don't call any adults by their first name and I don't like children to call me by my first name.  That's pretty consistently true in the southern United States.  If it's a close friend, it's "Aunt" or "Uncle" Firstname.  Or "Miss" or "Mr." Firstname (the "Miss" and "Mr." Firstname is also pretty exclusively used in the southern United States).  At 18, I tell children they can leave off the honorific if they wish.  Some do, but a lot don't.  I think the whole thing has just become my name to them and it's hard to switch.  In fact, I haven't switched with my aunts and uncles and my husband hasn't either (he still has elderly family friends that he refers to as Miss and Mr. Firstname).

 

My parents were "Grandmother" and "Grandfather" to the grandchildren and when I get to that point, I would prefer being "Grandmother."  My husband says he'll take whatever they call him, but I think that's a dangerous path.  My father used to say, "Hey boo boo" to my daughter all the time so that one of the first things she said to him was "Hey boo boo."  He laughed, but I told him that he was perilously close to being "Boo Boo" as his name.  "Grandmother and Boo Boo" has a funny ring to it.  But she was able to figure out that she needed to call him Grandfather, so it all worked out in the end.

 

My daughter's boyfriend's mother's parents (got that?) were from Sweden originally and therefore were called "Mor mor" and "Mor Far" by their grandchildren.  I think it translates to "Mother's Mother" and "Father's Mother," so that the equivalent for the paternal grandparents is "Far mor" and "Far far."  That's actually a good system and if she marries this young man and has children, his parents can be that and not fight us for "Grandmother" and whatever my husband ends up being called.

Edited by Binker

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I think the idea of signing as son's parents when it's to both son and wife as "Mum and Dad + surname or initial" is to avoid stepping on toes in being presumptuous as the daughter-in-law already has a Mum and Dad and may be offended.  I like the Swedish version for grandparents.  I like Grandfather Boo Boo but I guess it's just the Grandfather part now.  :)

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My children don't call any adults by their first name and I don't like children to call me by my first name.  That's pretty consistently true in the southern United States.  If it's a close friend, it's "Aunt" or "Uncle" Firstname.  Or "Miss" or "Mr." Firstname (the "Miss" and "Mr." Firstname is also pretty exclusively used in the southern United States).  

 

In a lot of American films and TV shows we see young people calling adult males 'sir' as a matter of course, which really stands out over here because even in schools that sort of thing has largely died out in Britain.  Is it as common as the filmic picture suggests?

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In parts of the South, yes, both for "ma'am" and "sir."  It's not as common here in Dallas because people are from all over.  My husband and I thought we would raise the kids to use "sir" and "ma'am," but none of the kids' peers did it.   Also, my niece who was always perfect on the "sir" and "ma'am" thing told us that her father thumped her on her head with his fraternity ring if she didn't say it and my husband said he wasn't up for that (in addition to not having a fraternity ring).  There are circumstances when they say it (my son calls all of the black belts in his dojo "sir," but they are very formal there and both children will use "sir" and "ma'am" when they meet an adult for the first time).   My husband is from Baton Rouge and from what I can see, all children and young adults use it all the time, so that as were were loading the kids on the plane for a visit to his family, my husband's last words would always be, "Don't forget to use 'sir' and "ma'am'."   It is generally accepted that if you are getting in trouble with anyone [like anyone's parents, any teacher or other authority figure at your school, and especially the police] that you should break out the "sirs" and "ma'ams" in quantity.  

 

It's interesting that you say that the children seem oddly formal to you because what I see on American TV all the time is the opposite:  children calling adults by their first names.  That's really not common outside of the West coast and the northeast and in places where it's not common, it's considered insulting.  I've watched TV shows that are allegedly set in small town North Carolina where the children call the adults by their first names, which is so inauthentic that even I, who suspend disbelief easily, notice it.  

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In a lot of American films and TV shows we see young people calling adult males 'sir' as a matter of course, which really stands out over here because even in schools that sort of thing has largely died out in Britain. 

Has it died out in schools where you are? Our pupils address teachers as "Miss" or "Sir" routinely. (Though they don't ever do that very old fashioned thing of talking about the teacher as Miss or Sir, as in, "Sir said...")

 

What do they say instead of "Miss, I'm stuck?"

 

(It amuses me when they get mixed up and call me Sir. Or Mum.)

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Can anyone help me with how to sign a card.  My d-i-l calls me by my Christian name.  I am about to send my son and his wife a wedding anniversary card.  Do we just sign the card from 'Mum and Dad'[ or do we also put our Christian names as well?

 

Okay, so here's what it's like in my part of the world.  A girl is called by her first name - by everybody in the community - until she has a child.  Then is she is afforded respect.  For example, if Charity gives birth she becomes the the mother of  ... Sara or Tobiasi, and is called ' Bana Sara', or 'Bana Tobiasi', by everybody. (Lots of biblical names around here.) However ... a boy is honoured the moment he becomes engaged and everyone, including his fiancee must give him the 'ba' honorific: 'ba Peter', giving him immediate status.  When he becomes a father (within marriage, of course) he becomes known as  'Bashi Sara', or 'Bashi Tobiasi'.  So that solves everyone's problems, because the whole community, including family members of whatever generation, use these terms 'Bana' and 'Bashi'.  By now you may have realised that for all that we need to promote the girl child, in this country at least she is destined to be of low esteem both in tradition and in language, until she becomes a mother.  (Sorry, I think I've put a downer on the discussion. I must not be so serious. :nono: ) But it would solve your problem ... :wonder:

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Perhaps it's more variable than I thought, then.  Certainly in my experience it's just been "Mr X" or "Miss Y".

 

That does happen here too, David. I recall that it was teacher led. I’m not sure why and I don’t mind being addressed either way. However I have known married ladies object to being called Miss and unmarried ladies who are sensitive to pupils knowing that fact, for various reasons (unmarried mothers, not wanting certain pupils to know they live alone, etc).

Ironically, of course, the Miss in teaching didn’t used to mean an unmarried lady, but a lady in charge of something – as in ‘The French Mistress’ (and similarly ‘The French Master’) . Come to think of it, my union, ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) was AMMA (Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association) until the early 90s.

 

 

  By now you may have realised that for all that we need to promote the girl child, in this country at least she is destined to be of low esteem both in tradition and in language, until she becomes a mother. 

 

I realise that there is no real similarity re status and treatment between the UK and the communities with which you are working, Ting, but there is a very slight language similarity. While writing the above I remembered that in the 50s and 60s, here, boys were addressed (in writing) as Master until they were about 11 when they became Mister, but girls stayed as Miss until they married. Now people seldom use Master at all, but women are still Miss or Mrs.

 

 

And yet another aside from my grasshopper mind (no reference to you Grasshopper) – it’s interesting to look up Mrs in the dictionary as there seems to be no full version of the word other than Mistress which now has other meanings  than ‘married lady’ or the corrupted versions Missus or Missis, beloved by the tabloids.

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And yet another aside from my grasshopper mind (no reference to you Grasshopper) ..............

 My mind is exactly the reason I chose the name, Angel :D

 

Here  Primary and Senior Schools nearly all use Mr X, Mrs Y, and Miss Z when addressing teachers. With a multicultural society, the children are far more adept at getting correct pronunciation for unusual teacher and pupil first and surnames.  They just take it in their stride, whilst  parents struggle. 

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That does happen here too, David. I recall that it was teacher led. I’m not sure why and I don’t mind being addressed either way. However I have known married ladies object to being called Miss and unmarried ladies who are sensitive to pupils knowing that fact, for various reasons (unmarried mothers, not wanting certain pupils to know they live alone, etc).

I used to work in a school where the female teachers were addressed as "Madam" rather than "Miss", as a non-sexist parallel to "Sir". It got you strange looks when you bumped into a kid in town and they yelled "Hello Madam!" at you!

 

I am really thinking of how pupils address you when they want your attention. If I want the attention of my colleague, Mrs Mary Smith, I will say "Mary!". If we are among pupils, I will say "Mrs Smith!" But if the kids want her attention, they will say "Miss!" They might also say "Hello, Miss!" if they meet her on the stairs. But they will call her / refer to her as Mrs Smith, not Miss Smith. I suppose that is strange, but it seems to be the way it has always been.

 

I have known many female staff who use Ms in their name, and I often do too. But it's hard to pronounce, so it tends to be reserved for the written word. The kids mix up Miss and Mrs when writing names, anyway.

 

On a related note, what about address forms among adults? Our Headteacher uses our first names, but by convention is addressed as Mr Bloggs. I really dislike this. We are both adults - if he can call me FirstName, I should be able to do the same.

I like the rules in Germany, where I have friends. As adults, you are either on FirstName terms or Mr/Mrs terms. It has to be equal.

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Ting, What happens to the parental name with the birth of subsequent children?  Does it continue to be honorific + first child's name? And if so, does it remain that way if the first child/children are female, and a later child is a boy?

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We are currently looking round secondary schools for my daughter. There are two schools up for grabs really and they are both really good schools and I wouldn't have any concerns whichever one she ended up at.

 

However, I was wondering if there is anywhere online that we can look at the kind of jobs she'd be interested in doing in the future and seeing based on that what kind of things to study to line her up best for those as the two schools seem to have different areas in which they specialise and we could perhaps use that to decide on the best one?

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On a related note, what about address forms among adults? Our Headteacher uses our first names, but by convention is addressed as Mr Bloggs. I really dislike this. We are both adults - if he can call me FirstName, I should be able to do the same.

I like the rules in Germany, where I have friends. As adults, you are either on FirstName terms or Mr/Mrs terms. It has to be equal.

 

In conversation I've never seen the need to use someone's name or title.  If I'm talking to someone, I don't need to address a question or statement to them by name.  Similarly I prefer it if people don't do it when talking to me, but if they must for some reason then I want them to use my first name.  When I was looking for houses a few years ago, one of the local estate agents needed to use my name in every sentence, I found it most peculiar.  There was no-one else present so there was no danger anyone else would think they were being spoken to so I couldn't see the point.  More than that, I really, really dislike being called "Sir".  I haven't been knighted by the queen.  Of course, I'm not a teacher so don't have to contend with pupils wanting to attract my attention.

 

Interesting about Germany, I wonder if it's a result of German still retaining formal and informal version of the second person pronouns which forces people to think about forms of address more. 

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  When I was looking for houses a few years ago, one of the local estate agents needed to use my name in every sentence, I found it most peculiar.  There was no-one else present so there was no danger anyone else would think they were being spoken to so I couldn't see the point.

It is a recognised technique for memorising someone's name.

He was probably attempting to fix your name in his memory so that the next time you walked through the shop door he could address you by it and make you feel like a valued customer.

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In conversation I've never seen the need to use someone's name or title.  If I'm talking to someone, I don't need to address a question or statement to them by name.  Similarly I prefer it if people don't do it when talking to me, but if they must for some reason then I want them to use my first name. 

Interesting about Germany, I wonder if it's a result of German still retaining formal and informal version of the second person pronouns which forces people to think about forms of address more. 

In a work situation, I often find myself either addressing one person in a group, or referring to something they said: either "Mr Bloggs, do you know..." or "As Mr Bloggs just pointed out..."

In a one to one situation, of course, it's less important.

 

You're right about Germany. You get situations of long standing colleagues or neighbours of similar ages who have never used each others' first names because they aren't on the informal footing with "you". 

As a foreign speaker of the language, I have often found myself in the situation where I can't remember if we are "you-friends" or not, so I avoid using the word "you" in conversation with the person at all. That's tricky.

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