kbarber

Mr and Ms? How does your local ballet company refer to its dancers?

73 posts in this topic

Or, alternately, "Hi, I've chosen to take my husband's name, but since you know me by my maiden name, it's there so that you know, just as helpful information, that I'm the same person."

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Or, alternately, "Hi, I've chosen to take my husband's name, but since you know me by my maiden name, it's there so that you know, just as helpful information, that I'm the same person."

I like mine better. But I'd say all wives are the same people, regardless of surname, no?

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Or, alternately, "Hi, I've chosen to take my husband's name, but since you know me by my maiden name, it's there so that you know, just as helpful information, that I'm the same person."

Or sometimes it performs another function. A good friend of mine used to go by first initial/last name (sken), but when she married hitz it didn't really have the same appeal. Hence skitz.

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I like mine better. But I'd say all wives are the same people, regardless of surname, no?

It's not always obvious when there's no personal contact or when dealing with businesses/service providers/the government/schools, where the personnel change.

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I find this thread fascinating. I am likely a minority here, but I find the whole Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms thing archaic. Why not just simple "Sandy McKean" (altho in my case, being male, Mr Sandy McKean often helps to avoid confusion in official situations).

In addition, I have no trouble referring to dancers by their first names (much to the chargin of Helene wink1.gifsmile.png). OTOH, I think there may be a difference depending on whether the interchange is in writing (newspaper article) or verbal (conversation). I don't really know any PNB dancer as a friend (altho many of them know who I am, and I certainly know every one of them); but if, for example, I go up to Leslie Rausch after a Q&A to speak to her, it would be very strange for me to address her as Ms Rausch. She does know me, and I would think it would be awkward for her to hear me call her anything but Leslie. In a similar vein, I sometimes speak one on one to Peter Boal about some dancer or other. Again, it would seem very awkward to me if I mentioned to him: "Peter, Ms Imler was so fast tonight". Better would be: "Peter, Carrie Imler was so fast tonight". But I know Peter, and I know Carrie, and they know me (but certainly not as friends), and it just plain feels more comfortable (and I do it without thinking) to say "Peter, Carrie was so fast tonight" Same if I were talking to Helene after a performance. She knows the dancers and I know the dancers. It would be weird to me not to say Carla this, and Seth that; just as it would be if I were talking to my basketball buddy, Richard, to say; "Mr James got 50 points last night." instead of "LeBron got 50 points last night", and I surely don't know LeBron James at all.

Now in print, or even on this forum, it might make a difference to me. When I am in verbal conversation, I know who I'm talking to; but in print I don't. If I say Carla this, and Seth that in print, maybe readers won't even know what I'm talking about. I have noticed that if I post here on BA something about a PNB performance, I usually say, for example, "Carla Korbes" in the post first, then any further reference to her might well be just "Carla".

I can easily see how folks can feel differently about this, and I say to each his/her own. But I can't see begruging another for using whatever practice feels comfortable to them. That's not to say that there aren't some out there who can and do push it for effect. I can't see myself saying, for example: "Barak and I see eye to eye on immgration." Some folks are name droppers, but I think it's pretty obvious when that is happening, and surely it happens only in a small percentage of the cases.

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The NYT is very clear about using Mr or Ms after the first reference (which resulted in one of my favorite examples in a discussion about Rocky Horror Picture Show and the actor/musician Mr Loaf).

off%20topic.gif In some languages with which I'm familiar, the practice is always to use pseudonyms in their entirety, even for "normal"-sounding ones like George Eliot. "Mr. Eliot" and "Miss Eliot" would be equally nonsensical, and readers would probably have no idea who Miss Evans or Mrs. Cross was, any more than they could be expected to know that Mr. Aday and Meat Loaf are the same person.

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I find this thread fascinating. I am likely a minority here, but I find the whole Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms thing archaic. Why not just simple "Sandy McKean" (altho in my case, being male, Mr Sandy McKean often helps to avoid confusion in official situations).

In modern American culture they actually aren't used that much - in social situations it's customary for people to move to a first-name basis immediately or almost immediately, even in many situations that would traditionally call for formality. However, they do serve as social guideposts - we don't have any distinction in English between the formal and the familiar, as the French do, for example. (The idea behind "Ms." as discussed earlier in the thread, was to dispense with the notion of defining women socially in terms of marital status.)

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Some languages / cultures simply don't bother with the whole Mr. / Miss / Mrs. / Ms. thing, Russian and Japanese being cases in point. They still have systems for indicating degrees of status and intimacy, but marital status doesn't really feature.

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Maybe we should go back to "Comrade." ;)

By convention, in many European countries, at least formally, a young unmarried woman is the equivalent of "Miss" and all other women are the equivalent of "Mrs."

I remember when I went to Paris for Trophee Eric Bompard in 2005. I was told two things: Tip the arena usher 2 Euros and never say, "Merci" alone, but instead "Merci, Monsieur" or "Merci, Madame."

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Ironically, as dirac noted, the loss of second person singular pronouns and verb forms has forced English to make the formal/informal distinction in other ways, including the use of titles. For a really mindboggling selection, try registering on just about any website in the UK. For example, give the Royal Opera House a whirl; select "other" under title and watch what pops up.

https://www.roh.org.uk/register

I don't know any Japanese, but in Russian and many other languages it's possible to address someone by their first name and still use formal pronouns and verb forms to indicate respect and avoid excessive familiarity.

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Maybe we should go back to "Comrade." ;)

I like "citoyen" myself, except for being required to stipulate said citizen's gender ...

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Maybe we should go back to "Comrade." ;)

I like "citoyen" myself, except for being required to stipulate said citizen's gender ...

well, that, and the fact that the people in favour of "citoyen" had a tendency to lop people's heads off.

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Maybe we should go back to "Comrade." ;)

I like "citoyen" myself, except for being required to stipulate said citizen's gender ...

well, that, and the fact that the people in favour of "citoyen" had a tendency to lop people's heads off.

Details, details...

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Ironically, as dirac noted, the loss of second person singular pronouns and verb forms has forced English to make the formal/informal distinction in other ways, including the use of titles. For a really mindboggling selection, try registering on just about any website in the UK. For example, give the Royal Opera House a whirl; select "other" under title and watch what pops up.

https://www.roh.org.uk/register

I don't know any Japanese, but in Russian and many other languages it's possible to address someone by their first name and still use formal pronouns and verb forms to indicate respect and avoid excessive familiarity.

This is fabulous indeed (I'd like to be The Venerable for a day) but according to my sister (who works box office) there's another one with many more military designations -- Rear Admiral, anyone?

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Oh, that's true! Apparently the ROH is a little more familiar with nobility, politicians and clergy than the military. What would the Royal Navy have to say about that?!

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Maybe we should go back to "Comrade." ;)

I like "citoyen" myself, except for being required to stipulate said citizen's gender ...

well, that, and the fact that the people in favour of "citoyen" had a tendency to lop people's heads off.

Details, details...

Oh, alright then, just call me Madam!

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Ironically, as dirac noted, the loss of second person singular pronouns and verb forms has forced English to make the formal/informal distinction in other ways, including the use of titles. For a really mindboggling selection, try registering on just about any website in the UK. For example, give the Royal Opera House a whirl; select "other" under title and watch what pops up.

https://www.roh.org.uk/register

I don't know any Japanese, but in Russian and many other languages it's possible to address someone by their first name and still use formal pronouns and verb forms to indicate respect and avoid excessive familiarity.

This is fabulous indeed (I'd like to be The Venerable for a day) but according to my sister (who works box office) there's another one with many more military designations -- Rear Admiral, anyone?

Hmmm:

"Among admirals, large enough; but,” with an air of grandeur, “we know very little of the inferior ranks. Post–captains may be very good sort of men, but they do not belong to us. Of various admirals I could tell you a great deal: of them and their flags, and the gradation of their pay, and their bickerings and jealousies. But, in general, I can assure you that they are all passed over, and all very ill used. Certainly, my home at my uncle’s brought me acquainted with a circle of admirals. Of Rears and Vices I saw enough. Now do not be suspecting me of a pun, I entreat."

I tend to think of titles more as a status distinction? Aux armes, citoyens!

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It wouldn't surprise me if it were the same for gymnasts, come to think of it.

I don't know, though it wouldn't surprise me either. Are there any gymnastics fans here who can answer this?

I watch gymnastics, and it's always first names in my experience. They're kids, and people like to keep them as such, even in college gymnastics, really.

Last ballet I actually was able to go to was Nutcracker 2011, by California Ballet (the big company here in San Diego). TBH, I tuned out the announcer, so I'm not sure we do the Ms./Miss/Mister, thing. "Mister" I think sounds so old, but "Miss" seems like a term of respect, and thus, endearment, and I like that for a female.

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Ah, the kid factor. I've had several conversations with people about the "girls and boys" labels in classes and rehearsals -- while training starts young, professionals in both fields are more adult than child. I'd like to see our language reflect that status.

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sandik, excellent point about the dancers being addressed as if they were still kids!

I got so fed-up with being called a "girl" throughout my career that I vowed never to address any dancers in my care that way - at least not after the age of about eight. :)

(I say, "ladies" and "gentlemen" - or "damen und herren" )

-d-

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sandik, excellent point about the dancers being addressed as if they were still kids!

I got so fed-up with being called a "girl" throughout my career that I vowed never to address any dancers in my care that way - at least not after the age of about eight. smile.png

(I say, "ladies" and "gentlemen" - or "damen und herren" )

-d-

Oh, I like the German -- I'll have to try that sometime!

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I watch gymnastics, and it's always first names in my experience. They're kids, and people like to keep them as such, even in college gymnastics, really.

Teenagers are indeed still kids in a sense, and that is a useful thing to bear in mind, but referring to athletes in their teens and early twenties by first names as a way of "keeping them kids" seems a bit questionable....

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