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Re: Courtesy Titles: Important or Overblown?

I would be pretty shocked to hear students refer to their teacher by first name!  Like you, Kevin, when I was a kid, I was expected to address the parents of my friends as "Mr." or "Miss."  Teachers were always "Mr." or "Ms." or "Mrs."  There was one eccentric history teacher a group of us referred to affectionately as "The Captain" (I still address his Christmas card that way) because that was his rank in a Revolutionary Way reenators group.  I'd still consider that a courtesy title, though - it's not like we were calling him "Chuck." 

And my husband and I have continued this with our own kids.  Our eldest daughter's karate school teaches this as a tenet of respect, and all the instructors are referred to as "Mr." or Miss."  (Heck, even my husband and I address them that way and most of them are younger than we are!!)  Our pastor has long insisted we call her "Flo," and though I've reluctantly come to do this when talking to her, we still insist on addressing her as "Rev. Flo" where our kids are involved. 

Basically, if someone is reasonably older than I am (loosely read as:  not my generation, lol) then I use a title when addressing them.  Or if someone is in a position that I feel demands it (e.g., my daughter's karate teachers), then I will use a title.  And I use those titles until it is made clear to me by the person I'm addressing that the title isn't necessary.  Sometimes I feel we have very little "etiquette" left in our world...I'd hate to see this go by the wayside as well!!

This brings up a question for me though, Kevin, as it relates to Amish women.  I seem to recall reading in Recollections and Recipes that Elizabeth would refer to herself as "Mrs. Ben Coblentz."  Does Lovina refer to herself similarly, as "Mrs. Joe Eicher?"  Is this a courtesy that is observed by the community itself?  Is it something perhaps Elizabeth's generation would have observed, but subsequent generations are growing away from?  Thanks!



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