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TOPIC: Names and the changes in etiquette

Names and the changes in etiquette 23 Jan 2019 17:36 #1

  • Peter Kirk
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The thread title is not very good so let me know of a better one once you have read what the topic is.

Another thread brought up the issue of initials being used on memorials and documents instead of forenames, as is commonly practised today.

This is something that a lot of us have come across when looking at old documents and can be infuriating when trying to trace someone. References had an air of formality to them and I know from my own experience that forenames were rarely used in official memos in the early seventies. It was also common practice to address your equals by their first name but anyone superior as Mr Whoever. It was so common place that when someone did use a forename I often didn't have a clue who they were talking about. This was the early seventies and this formal addressing was dying out and many newer senior mangers asked to be addressed by their first name. It was a slow process though. For my part secondary school was ALL surnames so at work it wasn't a shock and as the majority of the senior manager were ex-military, most war service but many national service I assumed that was why it lasted longer than in some areas of business. I was in retail head offices for 99% of my working life.

Now an oddity that I noticed the other day. In unit ORB's forenames were not often used but nick names were and as I recall at school the same was true, You call your mates by their nicknames or surnames and when with your mates you referred to your teachers by their nicknames. As my school was a grammar school I suspect that may have been partly the reason but I have no other experience of schools to go by. Again 90% of our teachers were war veterans, as made clear every St Georges Day by the uniforms but may of the teachers, who were called masters then (1967) still wore gowns, but no mortar boards.

Sorry to waffle but the thread that caused this made me think back!
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Names and the changes in etiquette 23 Jan 2019 20:56 #2

  • netcompsys
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This is the discussion that Peter refers to which was about A P Rowe

mbriscoe wrote:

netcompsys wrote:

Carnaby wrote: I find it infuriating that up until some unknown (post WWII ?) date, personnel didn't have forenames, just initials. In the past I've had great trouble especially with Flight Magazine and the like with names like Sqn Ldr J Smith and Flt Sgt W Jones. There are dozens of them - even issues with less common surnames with similar initials.

.......


I suspect a lot of that is down to "respect". Back then he was probably called Mr Rowe or Sir or even just Rowe to his face. Probably only his wife used anything else.
The easy familiarity where people you don't even know call you by your Christian name is a post 1960s thing I think.


Wasn't there are a fashion in some circles of calling people by their initials? Perhaps from public school days, the oinks would have nicknames.


Three comments...
I am only really familiar with one squadron ORB and I cannot recall the use of nicknames at all, individuals were identified by rank initials and surname and crews normaly by the surname of the pilot

The use of the surname only in schools and business was absolutley standard, only close friemds would have called you by a christian name or nickname in my experience certainly right up t the end of the 60s

I have read a lot of books in which A P Rowe figures and he was always called that. As a variation some of his contemporaries like Watson-Watt and Lindemain have only been called by christian names in more modern histories

.
kevin

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Last edit: by netcompsys.

Names and the changes in etiquette 24 Jan 2019 10:51 #3

  • canberra
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Yes use of surnmaes was very de-rigeur. In fact some stakers at one unit were outraged because their boss addressed airmen by surname and NCOs by rank. Of course the officer concerned was quite correct.

And in 1951 Churchill got a letter from Attlee telling him that he was calling an election. The letter started Dear Churchill.

But one place where ettiquette hasnt changed is in the courts.

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Names and the changes in etiquette 25 Jan 2019 19:53 #4

  • Carnaby
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Peter Kirk wrote: Another thread brought up the issue of initials being used on memorials and documents instead of forenames, as is commonly practised today.

I don't actually mind initials on memorials - it often makes a lot of sense (though they should use more lowercase!) It's just that I've spent hours over the last few years trying to home in on things such as:

S/Ldr A J Evans was responsible for... RAFWEB, Flight Magazine and the AIR List will contain numerous entries for AJ Evans, who might have been a F/Lt or a W/Cdr earlier or later etc, as well as a couple who were Squadron Leaders around the time in question. Arthur Jeffrey, or Albert John would help no end.
Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:

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Last edit: by Carnaby. Reason: typo

Names and the changes in etiquette 26 Jan 2019 00:06 #5

  • kebecker
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I certainly never ever. called my parents by their christian name, same thing at school surnames only. Although my ear old dad would call me by my brothers name, then my girlfriends , possibly the dog and finally get the my name! they don't make them like that anymore:P
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Names and the changes in etiquette 26 Jan 2019 07:18 #6

  • PETERTHEEATER
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During my RAF apprenticeship (1956-59) my contemporaries called me 'Ginger', Officers called me by my Surname and Drill Instructors and Disciplinary NCOs called me 'Oiyou' :)

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Names and the changes in etiquette 26 Jan 2019 11:47 #7

  • Peter Kirk
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My daughters boyfriend/partner calls us by our first names but it doesn't seem that odd now, especially as I don't often see myself as old, and now both daughters are grown up it is difficult to see myself as a parent.
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Names and the changes in etiquette 26 Jan 2019 12:01 #8

  • netcompsys
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PETERTHEEATER wrote: During my RAF apprenticeship (1956-59) my ..... Drill Instructors and Disciplinary NCOs called me 'Oiyou' :)


How very restrained of them ;)
kevin

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Names and the changes in etiquette 15 Apr 2019 11:21 #9

  • Carnaby
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I said on another thread:

I find it infuriating that up until some unknown (post WWII ?) date, personnel didn't have forenames, just initials. In the past I've had great trouble especially with Flight Magazine and the like with names like Sqn Ldr J Smith and Flt Sgt W Jones. There are dozens of them - even issues with less common surnames with similar initials.

Have just found this useful thread:

www.airhistory.org.uk/rfc/people_indexB.html

Importantly it revealed that Captain PWL Brooke-Smith, adjutant of the new Air Battalion in 1911 was actually 'Broke-Smith'

... and another site gave his middle name as Lilian !
Plan A is always more effective when the problem you are working on understands that Plan B will involve the use of dynamite :twisted:

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Last edit: by Carnaby.

Names and the changes in etiquette 16 Apr 2019 09:27 #10

  • canberra
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That is or was the way it was in my day, rank and surname in the F540.

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