20---40---60--Etiquette Question and Answers
YOU ASK…WE ANSWER….YOU DECIDE
Question: Do you always address an older person or higher-up professional with Mr. Mrs. or Miss and their last name until they specify otherwise? Or do you use first names immediately when introduced?
When do you use only a person’s first name? When do you use Ms.?
Callie’s Answer: I am usually good at using Mr. or Mrs. but I do slip. Most of the time the older or higher- up professional will correct me and tell me to call them by their first name.
With my friends’ parents, I still use Mr. or Mrs., unless they tell me otherwise. I use Ms. when I do not know if they are married or not. It is usually the general introduction when neither is known.
Lillie-Beth’s Answer: For me, it depends on the situation and whom I’m meeting. If it’s a casual setting, usually I call the person by their first name; if it’s someone older than I am (or traditional), I usually start out with “Mrs.” or “Mr.” (or Ms. when the person is divorced, like I am). It seems like these days, everyone is so casual with each other and on a first-name basis right away. It’s easier for me to answer this question as it pertains to my children. In introducing my children to adults, I always start out with the formal Mrs. or Mr. (Last Name) to show respect. Sometimes the adults tell my children to call them by their first names, and after that, it’s OK. I also follow my mother’s tradition for my kids and have them address my close friends with a “Miss” in front of their first names, like “Miss April” or “Miss Elaine.” I like the distinction between children and adults, although I’m also often in the minority.
One of my favorite moments as a young bride was when a special group of my mother’s friends, whom I had addressed as “Mrs. So-and-So” my whole life, told me to call them by their first names. Since they were close to my mom, I felt close to them, too, and it was nice to finally be “initiated” into their friendship on a first-name basis. So here’s to Nancy, Kay, Kirk, Lynn, Barbara and Marilyn, as well as Miss Lela, Miss Ann, Miss Jeary, Miss Gerre, and more.
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