"Mr." and "Mrs." in Pittsburgh

Posting about "creative" people reminds me of a topic that's bugged me ever since I moved to Pittsburgh. There are a lot of adults around the region who insist that children address them (and that their children address others) as "Mr." and "Mrs." so-and-so. That's certainly their right, but it's always made me uncomfortable. My kids were born in Northern California into a community that encouraged everyone to address each other by their first names. ("Encouraged" is perhaps too strong a word; it was simply assumed by everyone that first names were OK.) Over the last few years in Pittsburgh, we've agreed with some of our better friends that their kids and our kids could address the adults by their first names. Some of the kids are thrilled and run with this. It makes others uncomfortable, and they revert to the formality.

Why does the "creativity" post remind me of this? Because on the whole, the kids who run with the first-name thing, and are truly comfortable with it, are the most interesting kids I know, and the ones I like to hang around with.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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