First names

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Sat Apr 13 18:32:53 UTC 2002

Beverly Flanigan wrote:
> 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."

I think it's different when radio interviewers use it. In most cases
they're deliberately using both names so that a listener who joins
the show in progress will know what's going on, which they wouldn't
if the interview said "Mr. Hall" or "Donald" after the original
introduction. (This is apart from the repeated "My guest today is
poet Donald Hall....")

Jesse "Mr." Sheidlower

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