Author Topic: CNN Article on Manners  (Read 4261 times)

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SPuck

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CNN Article on Manners
« on: October 18, 2012, 05:37:27 PM »
http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/18/you-annoyed-me-at-hello-why-kids-still-need-to-learn-manners/

I only have two comments. In the kids calling adults by there first name. I don't think it is a new age issue. My mother referred to most of the female adults in her life as Aunt First Name, and it got to the point where I'm not sure who my actual great aunts are.

As for the professor and student thing. I think if the teacher did not pussy foot around, and started his first class with "You can call me Mr./Professor Last Name" he would probably save himself a lot of trouble.

sweetonsno

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 01:06:20 AM »
I agree, SPuck. I think it's vital that instructors tell their students how to address them. Some want to be referred to by their first name. Some want to be referred to by Mr./Ms. Some would rather you say Professor or Dr.

When I was a graduate student, I taught a few sections of undergraduate English each year. The introduction was my first order of business, because I remembered how much I appreciated it when my professors let us know first thing. "My name is Sweet Onsno. It's fine to call me Sweet, but if that makes you uncomfortable, Ms. Onsno is fine as well."

nolechica

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 04:57:45 AM »
I've always called parents' friends and aunts/uncles by first names sans titles. However, I also know to use titles until told I don't have to.  Casual doesn't mean rude, but it does mean assumptions can differ.

Elphaba

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 07:58:40 AM »
I agree and I think that Peggy Post was spot-on with this suggestion:

Quote from: Peggy Post
Parents teach their children to use titles at the outset. If an adult asks that their first name be used, then the parent can decide what do. Some may be comfortable with the less formal option while others may stick to their etiquette guns

I think the problem comes on the part of the article's author and feeling uncomfortable and the fact that what you call your parent's friends or friend's parents are a different story than what you should call your teacher or professor and I didn't see where that was addressed in the conversation between Post and the author.

Also, as an aside, am I the only one who found the red links after every paragraph in the article really distracting and irritating? I know they want to keep people on their site, but most pages put a list of "Articles Like This" at the bottom of the story rather than cutting up the article into bits...

hyzenthlay

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 08:30:01 AM »
Here's is the problem. I don't expect children to be more formal, or more polite then adults. Here in the southwest the use of titles with adults is practically non-existent outside of a school setting. So mandating the use of titles for children would be very much (in my mind) placing them in a position of servility, or at least mandating adult dominance.

While I find that to be correct in any schooling situation, it is not something I feel the need to push in any kind of friend or family situation.

I can see why a college professor has problems though. They are both students and customers. A professor probably finds the enforced respect of a title very useful, but the students may not feel that they automatically owe that respect since they are paying for the teaching service.

SPuck

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 08:58:09 AM »
I can see why a college professor has problems though. They are both students and customers. A professor probably finds the enforced respect of a title very useful, but the students may not feel that they automatically owe that respect since they are paying for the teaching service.

I actually agree about the customer aspect of being a student, but the students still need a level of common courtesy. If teacher takes the reigns and says "My name is Professor X," or says something like "My name is Charles Xavier, you can call me Professor X/Xavier," is the best course of action. If someone calls me something else after I introduce my name a certain way, that's rude.

happygrrl

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 09:45:37 AM »
I agree with SPuck. If I am paying for a service, be it from a doctor, a professor, a minister (what have you), does that mean I get to be rude? (Genuinely curious here, and no snark intended)
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Virg

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 09:46:51 AM »
I also agree with SPuck on this one.  While it's true that students (at a college level) are paying for the service, their very act of paying someone to teach them indicates that they consider the teacher to be more knowledgeable than them in the subject so a certain level of respect is directly implied in the first place.  On top of that, calling someone by the name they request is (within sane limits) common courtesy, not necessarily just respect.  Because of that, I don't see calling a college teacher "Professor Lastname" by default to be servile in any way, just defaulting to the level of acknowledgement that the teacher/student relationship implies at the outset.  After the teacher expresses a preference, then it's most polite to follow that preference.

Virg

Jones

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 09:47:56 AM »
I recall my HS English teacher telling us a story regarding titles once.

She and a student were working on some after school project (she had her hand in a lot of activities and clubs) and he referred to her by her given name "Marsha". She turned to him and asked "Do you feel that comfortable with me? If you do then by all means, continue to use my given name." He replied that he'd wanted to see how it sounded, but no, he didn't feel comfortable using it again. She told him to go ahead and keep using Mrs. X. Apparently he still called her that, 10 years later when he'd been through college and come home on a visit. And the moral of the story, that she told every year on the first day of school, was that she was Mrs. X to us until we were adults and even possibly beyond.

As luck would have it, when I moved back to Hometown I moved into neighborhood boundaries with Mrs. X. I have to call her Mrs. X or her full name Marsha X. Drives DH batty, but Mrs. X never said I could call her "Marsha" so I feel uncomfortable when I attempt to do so.

Twik

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 09:56:10 AM »
Students pulling the "I'm the customer, and you, Professor X, or as I shall now call you, Chucky, must keep me happy," practically guarantees there will be no learning done in that institution. If I see myself as "paying for a degree," how dare you accept my money and not give me one, even if I do not do any work?

This is one reason why I don't like the trend of "I'm Charles, and you're all my new best buddies, Tim and Jane and Sarah." The best professor I ever had not only insisted we use his title, but never once referred to us students as other than "Ms Twikerson" or "Mr Twittiker". It made us aware that he was our teacher, not our chum, and we followed his rules in his classroom. There was no whining or excuses, just working in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
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AnnaJ

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 12:54:09 PM »
Students pulling the "I'm the customer, and you, Professor X, or as I shall now call you, Chucky, must keep me happy," practically guarantees there will be no learning done in that institution. If I see myself as "paying for a degree," how dare you accept my money and not give me one, even if I do not do any work?

This, a thousand times this. 

BeagleMommy

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 02:54:19 PM »
I think the dynamics play a large part here.  If a professor says "I'm Professor Charles Xavier" I will refer to him as Professor Xavier.  If he says "Please call me Charlie"  that's what I will do.

One of my mother's dearest friends was always Mrs. Keen.  She was so informal in any other part of her life that she was practically unmannered, but Brother and I always referred to her as Mrs. Keen.  We just were not comfortable calling her Shirley and she never asked.

By contrast, my mother's best friend has always been Cookie.  Cookie's daughter and I are best friends.  My mother has always been Joanie to her.  Just a different level of comfort.

Margo

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 03:31:30 PM »
 I agree with SPuck that calling adults by their first names isn't necessarily a 'new age' thing. I always called my parents by their first names, also my maternal grandparents and aunts. My great-grandparents died before I was born but they, too, were always addressed by, and talked about by, their first names, so in out family at least, the habit goes back at least 100 years! But I called friends parents Mr x or Ms / Mrs X unless they invited me to use a different name.

I think basic politeness is that you call people by the name they wish to be called by. On my dad's side of the family I called my aunt & uncle Aunt P & Uncle P until I was an adult, as they were more comfortable with that.

I think using a first name when you have not been invited to do so is usually rude.

Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 04:42:40 PM »
I hate it when parents introduce me as <FirstName>.  I absolutely cringe.  I also don't like people who don't know me (bank tellers, for example) to address me by my first name.  I'm Miss <LastName> until I ask you to call me <FirstName>.  I find the implied casualness incredibly rude.

If I ever have kids (unlikely at my age), I would instruct them to refer to people by Title LastName. 
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HyenaInPetticoats

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Re: CNN Article on Manners
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 07:21:28 PM »

I've just started  university, and one of the very first things we were told at our lecture, was that we are not "customers", University is not a degree printing system where you put in X amount of cash and get a certificate out of it.

When you enroll in higher education, you are paying for something, but your also agreeing to cooperate and work within the guidelines of that institution.