Thursday, August 28, 2008

On honorifics

This morning, I had a sudden moment. The LA and I had been at the Credit Union, opening our new joint account, and then she had to do something that needed notary stuff. Once we were done, the notary person there thanked us... as Mrs Humphreys and Mr Humphreys.

I've never been Mr Humphreys before. At school, I was "Silas", apart from the time at private school, for which I was "Humphreys". At University, I was pretty much exclusively "Silas". Since then, I've been "Mr Silas Humphreys". "Mr Humphreys" has always been my father. This is the convention; my father is the most senior Humphreys male, so he's "Mr Humphreys". It sits slightly wrongly with me to be addressed as "Mr Humphreys", but I think technically I am paterfamilias over here. What distance is sufficient to break one's ties?


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  2. I can't answer your question, but I feel you should know that after nearly 41 years of marriage, and reaching the age to draw my pension, I still feel that Mrs. Humphreys is a touch too formal for the way I feel! Even when my Mother-in-law was widowed, re-married, and I thus became the only Mrs. Humphreys in the family, I still felt I was sailing under false colours!


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