Bit odd

Cheap shots aside, I wouldn’t call Lord Sugar “Alan” to his face any more than I’d call my doctor “David” or refuse to address anybody else using their professional title: it’s inappropriate and profoundly disrespectful.

When working for an Earl I called him William. A Baron was Malcolm. And the Viscount I interact with is Matt.

Why wouldn’t I call them what they were baptised as?

Ah, yes, silly me, I see Carrie’s problem…..

Whether it’s professor, lord, lady, baron, he, she or they, calling people what they prefer to be called isn’t difficult. It’s just basic politeness. If you choose not to do it for particular groups of people, that says much more about you than it does about them.

At which point we all agree, it is indeed politeness. It’s just that politesse enforced by the law isn’t such, is it?

37 thoughts on “Bit odd”

  1. But but, as I keep banging on: we are not talking about addressing people in the second person, where indeed it is polite to use whatever form the person you are talking to would prefer. This whole kerfuffle is about third person pronouns – those I use when I talk about you. They are nothing to do with politesse and everything to do with my own language – which is none of your or anybody else’s business!

  2. Also if you want people to be polite to you you should be polite to them. And requesting a form of address which is difficult to remember is not polite. Neither is insisting on being referred to in a manner that is unnecessarily bothersome polite, bear in mind that “pronouns” tailored to individual preference are effectively nouns The meaning is adequately conveyed by the normal pronouns, and the insistence on individual ones is inconsiderate.
    I doubt anyone uses the full name and title when referring to a Lord, except as necessary to clarify which particular Lord is referred to.

  3. But when talking to someone, you either say “you” or some variant of their name such as Carrie, Ms Marshall etc. Admittedly there might be a problem if you use terms such as Sir or Madam but no one seems worried about that situation.

    The fuss is all about what pronoun you use when referring to someone in the third person. And frankly I cannot see why the law has to get involved other than the time-honoured reason of governments and tribunals inventing laws to allow lawyers to enrich themselves

  4. Dennis, He Who Is Bored of and by LGBT+ Whining

    What you call others says a lot about you

    Indeed it does. For example, I really don’t give a fuck what Carrie Marshall wants to be called.

    What does that say about me? That I’m eminently sensible, that’s what.

  5. Fuck politeness. This marshall creep has sold HIS soul to Marxist evil and is using HIS mental and emotional problems to help socialist shite undermine the entire basis of Western society by allowing said Marxist scum to enshrine their subjectivist evil into British law.

  6. Called Alan Sugar all sorts of things in the past. Lord didn’t figure amongst them. Nor did Alan, much, to be honest. He was a stroppy bugger. More someone you talked about than to. That c##t upstairs from Brentwood Taxis usually served.

  7. You just have to change the speech bubbles in that cartoon, slightly, to make sense of the post.
    “Hey now that there is a good looking dog. What’s his name?”
    “Ëown she’s a cat, actually”

  8. Don’t think they’d get much change here, Diogenes. Spanish is a gendered language. You don’t get any discretion. What’s masculine stays masculine. You can’t go into the butchers & ask for chicken in the feminine. They’d tell you you were in the wrong establishment. Try the sauna.

  9. In scientific journals, a cited author is referred to by surname only (usually). For lay people this sounds insulting. It isn’t, it’s formulaic, and those in the game know why.

  10. BiS,

    Is it true that it’s vuglar to stack Spanish tables with Italian tables, as one kind is feminine the other masculine – unless you separate them with table cloths for modesty?

  11. Bloke in Costa Rica

    bis: we were laughing about this at lunch with a friend who is learning Spanish. The discussion came round to ganso/gansa (gander/goose for the non-hispanohablantes). I quipped that the same did not apply to pollo/polla*. Much hilarity ensued.

    * The difference being that ganso is both the animal and the meat, but pollo is just the meat. Cock/hen is gallo/gallina.

  12. When I was in the military I wouldn’t have expected anyone not in the military to address me by my rank. That was my professional title – but I never had any right to expect you to use it nor would I have been insulted if you didn’t. There’s no way I would have expected anyone to even know what my rank was (let alone how to address me by it) and I had my rank on my freaking arm.

    So screw this ‘you have to use ‘my’ pronouns or else you’re deliberately insulting me’ crap.

  13. I sued to call my doctor “Tim” , or later “Angela” (the change being caused by retirement and a new doctor, not a sex change). Never seemed to be a problem, but I did know them slightly outside the consulting room.

  14. Oh, bugger autocorrect – I “used to call”, not “sued to call”. Given the topic of the increasing legalisation of nomenclature, swapping around those two letters completely reversed the meaning of my comment!

  15. Diogenes: Marshall-chan? I’m not sure the Japanese ever use it this way, but it’s rough equivalent in England would be calling her ‘love’, which in this case would convey a certain contempt for his/her stance.

    NB I tried to post this earlier but got a message along the lines of “you’re posting too fast”. Never seen that before. I wonder if this will get through.

  16. I’ve met Lord Sugar, I called him Alan. I’ve also got a Squadron Leader in my extended family, I call him by his first name and I don’t use the term Sir when asking him for a coffee.

  17. When I see the GP he’s Mike, Sir Whatsit is Whatsit, Dentist is Alan when wife visiting family…

    – Price Harry, Duke of Sussex has effectively resigned and is now Harry ‘Wales’ Windsor

    @bis did you refer to him as Sirilan?

  18. I’m not posh or nothing, but I have done some work for an Earl and he was a lovely, down to earth chap who insisted I use his Christian name.

    Mad as a box of hatters, natch, but that’s the aristocracy for you (and people in glass houses should probably wear trousers).

    Our old betters are better than our new betters.

  19. Re: Price Harry, Duke of Sussex has effectively resigned and is now Harry ‘Wales’ Windsor

    C4 News: “It’s because of racist UK media and public”

    Balderdash. Only reason I know ‘fake tan sleb’ Markle is “Black” is due to C4 etc ramming it down my throat since engagement announced. I dislike them because they’re woke hypocrites who won’t fulfil the obligations they’re paid by taxpayers to do

  20. Similar, whenever I refer to PS in the third person it’s always as PS, not as Baron S. Whenever I greet him it’s always as P, not as My Lord. Similarly with WW, though with him there that brief near-unspoken negotiation to confirm whether it would be Bill or William or similar, but never Baron W.

    Wow, I know two piers peers. And have worked with a third, Baron K.

  21. I’m old enough that I used to receive letters from an administrator that addressed me by surname only: “Dear McPherson”, that sort of thing. He must, I think, have been pretty old at the time.

    When my father’s generation were schoolboys they tended to use abbreviations of each other’s surnames. Thus John Paul Peterson might be called Pete Peterson. I thought it slightly odd until I realised that we spontaneously used the same trick for some of our new friends when we were freshers. The trouble is that the world is awfully well provided with Johns, Ians, and Daves.

  22. I’m suddenly imagining a recreation of that Fawlty Towers episode.

    “Well I am Lord Spud, so I only sign the one name.”

  23. This pronoun b*ll*cks is just the latest extension of attention whores making life miserable for the rest of us.

    Remember the craze for having no surname, one bloke got employed by our company and refused to be known as anything but just “Colin” (or whatever it was), he was consequently referred to as Colin the Contractor, and an email of Contractor, Colin. Because that’s why surnames were invented in the first place, really. Perhaps if he’d been Kolynn it may have been a bit more unique, but that surname field in the email server is mandatory, sorry mate.

    My late wife met someone called (just) Sheila, trouble was she already had four friends already called Sheila (she actually held a “Sheila Party” once and invited them all over for dinner), aside from the quite funny coincidence that Sheila is a Australian generic name for a female, this one just got given a surname by us (I think it was White after her hair colour) and that stuck, and I felt a small emotional “f*ck you” victory when posting Xmas cards addressed to “Sheila White”.

    Then there was Prince and his stupid unpronounceable symbol, eventually referred to AFKAP (artist formally known as Prince) by magazines not willing to spend out on the special printing costs, yes there was a reason why people had names in the readable syntax.


  24. The war years might have helped in this regard, but I went to secondary school in the 70s with a guy whose father was the Reverend Doctor Squadron Leader XXXX

  25. Bloke in North Dorset

    I worked for a K and always referred to him as Sir xxxxx, he never asked for it nor ever complained if people just referred to him by his Christian name. I knew how he’d earned it and it was a sign of my respect.

    I’m not sure what I’d done if I either didn’t know or didn’t think it was worthy, you can take the lad out of the military ……

    Speaking of which, when I was promoted to WO2 I preferred to be called by my appointment, Foreman [of Signals], and not sir. However I understood that not everyone in the military understood the Royal Signal appointments of Foreman and Yeoman, and, like Agammamon, I wouldn’t have expected civilians to have a clue.

  26. Oh well, if we’re all at it, I was taught by a Professor the Earl such-and-such and Viscount T’Other.

    I called him ‘Professor’.

  27. ‘groups of people’

    Western Civilization is about individuals, not your CM groups of people.

    ‘calling people what they prefer to be called isn’t difficult’

    No one wants to get close enough to you to find out what you want. NOBODY CARES!
    Nobody is calling you.

    Personal tip: If someone were to call you, don’t blow it by demanding what they call you.

  28. My next door neighbour has a title, a military rank, a qualification and a tremendously posh first name. I, along with everyone else, address him by the vaguely related nickname that I assume he picked up at boarding school. Anyone making the mistake of using anything else is assumed to be an arselicker and treated as such.

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