First names

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Sat Apr 13 18:33:29 UTC 2002

At 01:04 PM 4/13/02 -0400, you wrote:
>I find all of the comments re: first names surprising b/c the phenomenon has
>been going on for 30+ years and is so well entrenched in our culture that
>it's almost hard for me to recall when I was treated with the linguistics
>tokens of familiarity from people I've never met.

One last comment on this tired old topic:  I'm listening to "Fresh Air
Weekend" on NPR (normally an idiotic show, but today the interviewee is
Donald Hall), and the interviewer (usually gross indeed) keeps addressing
the poet as "Donald Hall, you say . . . ."  I've noticed this before in her
speech and wonder if this is a way of avoiding either the too familiar FN
or the too formal TLN.  It also occurs in computer-generated mail that uses
the salutation "Dear Beverly Flanigan."  Quite infelicitous--I even had to
stop our secretary from using this style in her letters to new grad applicants.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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