Friday, February 26, 2010

Hi. I'm Lamar and I'll be your server today.

I only saw bits and pieces of the health care summit but it bothered me that President Obama was calling everyone by his or her first name. After all, no one was calling him “Barack”. Maybe this is the way things worked in earlier presidencies and I just missed it but it sounded weird to me.


Grim said...

A very good point about the use of familiar names. It's never appropriate in certain situations, even when the people involved really are intimates. (I've never liked the practice of requiring waiters to introduce themselves by their first name to people whose names they do not know; a waiter may be there to serve you, on a contractual basis, but they are not your inferior, not in America).

Elise said...

Yes. Part of what bothered me about this was just a feeling that the use of first names didn't fit the context. Another part, though, was that although intellectually I'm willing to believe that Obama's use of first names simply reflects society's increasingly casual attitude toward things, I'm old enough to emotionally interpret the disparate naming conventions as a display of power on Obama's part.