LINGUIST List 2.731

Thu 31 Oct 1991

Disc: Names and Titles

Editor for this issue: <>


Directory

  1. Cathy Ball, Last names (women)
  2. "E_Dean.Detrich", 2.703 Using last`names
  3. , last names and titles
  4. , Re: 2.713 Names
  5. Michael Newman, Re: 2.703 Using last`names
  6. , Re: 2.703 Using last`names

Message 1: Last names (women)

Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1991 13:11 EDT
From: Cathy Ball <CBALLGUVAX.BITNET>
Subject: Last names (women)
For what it's worth, in my (secular) girls' school, we used last
names: `Hey, {Ball/???Cathy}!' The faculty, however, addressed us as
'Miss X'.
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Message 2: 2.703 Using last`names

Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 14:36 EDT
From: "E_Dean.Detrich" <22743MGRmsu.edu>
Subject: 2.703 Using last`names
I was a bit surprised at the tenor of the observations on last name usage. In
my world the surname is the default form. I am "Detrich". When further
specification or intimacy is needed, I am "Dean". To me the use of first names
implies the intimacy of friendship, and friendship is not presumptive at the
outset. I feel uncomfortable when societal norms prescribe that I deal with
individuals whom I dislike on a first name basis. But then we live at a time
when we are expected to like or at least to feign to like every one.
As to the telephone sales clerk's reluctance to reveal a surname, that is
nothing more than a desire for anonymity. Isn't it ironic that the "intimate"
form provides the anomynity.
E. Dean Detrich
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Message 3: last names and titles

Date: Sat, 26 Oct 91 10:33:24 MDT
From: <Randy_Allen_Harrismts.ucs.ualberta.ca>
Subject: last names and titles
The Russell-Mr.-Strawson-and-Quine story reminded me of an
exchange in (I think) _Language Sciences_ in the late sixties
or early seventies. Fred Householder wrote a hostile review of
Robin Lakoff's _Abstract Syntax_, in which she was always
"Mrs. Lakoff." There was no introductory "Robin Lakoff's
book ..." There was no use of simply "Lakoff." And there was
no other title (she had her doctorate). Other mentions in the
review were to men, and were mostly last-names, though Ross and
someone else (Austin, come to think of it) got initials.
Lakoff parodied a bit of Householder's review in her response,
but never commented on his exclusive use of "Mrs."
Householder, once again, last named and sometimes first-and-last-
named males, and titled Lakoff, in a response to the response.
My suspicion is that Householder's use (and perhaps Lakoff's
indifference) wasn't too uncommon when women were fairly rare
in the profession (and academics generally).
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Message 4: Re: 2.713 Names

Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1991 20:55 EDT
From: <BELMOREvax2.concordia.ca>
Subject: Re: 2.713 Names
Yes, this is linguistics: sociolinguistics, registers (a la Halliday),
varieties of language a la Douglas Biber, etc. I haven't found it too diffi-
cult to quickly skip over topics of no special interest to me. More
elaborate subject headings (e.g. not just query but query: followed by a
question or well-defined topic) would probably help a lot.
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Message 5: Re: 2.703 Using last`names

Date: Fri, 25 Oct 91 23:15:31 EDT
From: Michael Newman <MNEHCCUNYVM.CUNY.EDU>
Subject: Re: 2.703 Using last`names
More on this business of last +first naming and intimacy. In 'Another Country',
a film which takes place in an English public (read prep) school in the 30s all
the boys last name each other. The main character (who is supposed to modeled
after Guy Burgess) is in love with another boy and finally gets up the courage
to ask him out. When they meet the first thing the Burgess character does is
to ask his beloved his first name, and then to introduce his own. But the
other character only smiles and says he already discovered it. I take this to
support the distance theory of last names that has recently been propounded.
Both boys realize that for their new relationship, last names are no longer ap-
propriate, which they formally acknowledge by introducing their first names.
Michael Newman
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Message 6: Re: 2.703 Using last`names

Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1991 11:57:05 +0200
From: <akmanTRBILUN.BITNET>
Subject: Re: 2.703 Using last`names
First of all, I would like to thank everybody who contributes to the
success of the Linguist List. I am no linguist but I read it with great
interest and do profit from the views of knowledgeable people discussing
various important issues.
I would like to report something re: using the last names. In Turkey, the
usage of "Bay" and "Bayan" (which correspond to Mr and Mrs (or Miss),
respectively) has been diminishing. I have noticed that politicians and
newspaper columnists use "Bay" nowadays to refer to politicians that they
want to ridicule or offend. Similarly, "Bayan" is commonly used by this
group to refer to ladies whom they consider vulgar or banal. Obviously,
counterexamples can be found, but this has been my general observation.
Mr. Oktay Akbal, a (minor) Turkish writer and columnist, is a good example.
 In the late 70's, his essays which were regularly published in the Turkish
daily "Cumhuriyet" used to refer to prime-minister of that period,
Suleyman Demirel, as "Bay Demirel" whereas his favorite politician at that
time, Bulent Ecevit, will be referred to as "Sayin Ecevit." ("Sayin" =
(approx.) Honorable.)
Varol Akman
Dept. of Computer Eng.
Bilkent University, Ankara
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