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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 11, 2013/ 3 Tamuz, 5773

Mister, Mister

By Peter Funt








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Increasingly I find that strangers who address me by my first name are the very people from whom I'd prefer an ounce of respect in the form of the honorific "Mr." On the other hand, the folks who graciously call me Mr. Funt are usually the ones to whom I immediately say, "Oh, please, call me Peter."


I'll get to the game in a moment but, honestly, how did we manage to become so careless and casual in greeting one another? I taught a journalism class for high school students last winter and about fell over when two students addressed me repeatedly as Peter. I wish I'd had the presence of mind to give them the Prof. Kingsfield treatment: "Mister Hart!" Then again, "The Paper Chase" film came out in 1973 and today Kingsfield's students would probably reply, "Well, Charles..."


I became so annoyed at emails from United Airlines that began, "Hello, Peter," that I wrote back asking for an explanation. The reply, presumably automated, began, "Thanks, Peter, we're looking into your request." I heard nothing further.

I imagine athletes and entertainers expect first-name treatment, even in private life. You wouldn't call Dave "Mr. Letterman," or Willie "Mr. Mays," regardless of whether you were asking for an autograph or fixing their plumbing. But we who are less secure about our position in life tend to covet a bit of formality with strangers.


When I was editor of the magazine "On Cable" I used to receive mail that began, "Dear On."


Apparently there's quite a brew-ha-ha among Starbucks' customers over whether to give their real first names when ordering a drink. Many turn to Bart Simpson's playbook and try to come up with rude fake names. Others, like Yankee star Derek Jeter, just try to remain anonymous. Jeter orders at Starbucks with the name "Philip."


Hand in hand, so to speak, with first-name greetings is the increasing eagerness of service personnel to shake hands. Clerks at Enterprise seem to think a handshake somehow makes renting a poorly cleaned car less galling. Comcast's cable techs favor a handshake, which I believe is off-putting even for less germ-phobic customers than myself.


I think the digital age promotes informality. "Hi, Peter" turns up in emails all the time, while the postman still brings letters that begin, "Dear Mr. Funt." The other day I received (yet another) email from President Obama that began (honestly), "Hey Peter." The leader of the free world signed it "Barack."


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Previously:


06/04/13 Branded


© 2013, Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate

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