etiquette (was RE: Proposal for a new variant subtag of the
french language (fr)
mrc at CAC.Washington.EDU
Sat Dec 8 18:46:11 CET 2007
On Sat, 8 Dec 2007, Peter Constable wrote:
> Can we agree that there are people from different cultures on this list
> and that, in different English-speaking cultures, it is not uncommon
> practice to *refer* to a person by their surname, and that that is not
> considered offensive? Can we also agree that, when people from different
> cultures on this list employ different conventions in referring to
> people, it is acceptable so long as it is not *culturally* offensive?
While I agree with the basic sentiments of the above, I wish to point out
that we are often compelled to bend over backwards for alleged "cultural
sensitivities." I have also noticed a strong correlation between those
who claim to have such sensitivities and utter insensitivity to those of
others. [I'm not claiming that Harald is such a person; but there is a
now non-participant we all know...........]
I don't wish to belabor the point, and personally I see little wrong with
using +1 to indicate "I agree but have nothing to add." I hope that at
some point we can persuade Michael that +1 is acceptable for this purpose
and is not intended to be a vote to be tallied.
Nonetheless, I share Michael's offense at being called by surname. I
hated that practice as a child, especially when used to address me; and
hate it today, four+ decades later.
I consider surname-only acceptable only in the driest text, where the
surname-only form is an honorific and the use of titles and/or full names
indicates lower status; e.g., "Jones" means "the one and only world-famous
Nobel-prize winning Prof. Robert T. Jones, PhD and I dare not refer to him
by anything more than Jones since that would imply that I know this great
man." This is similar to the Japanese usage of surname-only (actually,
both the famous and the infamous are referenced this way; it's a strongly
This mailing list is not such a dry text, and presumably we do not need to
be so distal.
-- Mark --
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.
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