Children push Mr and Mrs to the edge
The use of first names by children towards adults has become the norm according to a survey carried out among 30,000 people by the US television programme Good Morning America. Apart from school time when teachers might expect to be called Mrs Smith or Mr Jones kids have become used to calling their friends’ parents by their first name. The same goes for members of their own family where even the prefixes Uncle or Aunty seem to be less popular.
The survey found that generally adults liked to be called by their first names and found this natural. They were happy with the informality of first names and didn’t feel children were showing a lack of respect by avoiding the Mr, Mrs, Ms tag.
One respondent, described as an etiquette expert, said ‘defaulting to the formal is always appropriate until told otherwise’. So if Mrs Jones says ‘call me Cara’ that’s fine for everyone whatever their age.
At Nameslink we like first names and think they should be used most of the time to maintain comfortable relationships. We note that Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Brexiteer MP, steadfastly sticks to the formal use of Mrs May or Mr Johnson rather than Theresa or Boris. But then he makes a virtue of sounding old fashioned.