Monday, 19 October 2009


Something I had noticed before, but never really paid much attention to was the use of titles. In the UK titles are still used regularly, as opposed to the US where it is much more infrequent. For example, when I answer the phone at work, customers always say they are Mr Bob Smith or Mrs/Miss Jane Smith. I rarely, if ever, encountered this in North America. Most people, myself included, just gave their name when asked who was calling, etc. Although modern Britain is far from the tea and crumpets image most people like to picture, there are still etiquette rules that are strongly believed in. Not using a title is considered impolite and even the title of Ms, the default for women in America, was until rather recently considered too impersonal and the titles Miss or Mrs were the proper ones to use. While this is but a small detail of expat life, it is a difference I have definitely picked up on, especially now that I am dealing with customers on a daily basis and have to remember to address them correctly. At least I don't have to worry about that until tomorrow as this Mrs will be enjoying the rest of her day off!
{Image found here}


Anonymous said...

I still remember it being a big deal at school when we had our first teacher who was to be addressed as Ms not Mrs.

And I'm only in my 20's.

Yet said...

That IS interesting! While in Quebec, I discovered that it's even less formal...I think since I'm from "the south", manners are more frequent, but even there, people are starting to slack on titles and things like that...