User:William M. Connolley/For me/The naming of cats

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OK, this has finally irritated me enough that I'm going to write it down.

My username is "William M. Connolley" and I'm William Connolley. So, just like any other user, you can call me by my username if you like. But you might find it quite long, and many people find it quite hard to spell, so you are welcome to use WMC instead.

That is if you want to use my username.

However, it just so happens that my username is also my real name. So you can if you wish refer to me by my real name. In which case the standard rules for polite address come in: if you don't know me, you use my surname and title, which is to say Dr Connolley. If you don't happen to know what my title is, then don't use the wrong one. Taking a flying guess is impolite. And where I come from, referring to someone by their surname only is impolite. If you are on personal terms with me, you can use my first name, William. If you think you're on very personal terms, you might be tempted to use a contraction of my first name; this simply proves you are wrong. Don't do it.

And just to be explicit, since even well-intentioned people somehow contrive to make this mistake, where I come from addressing strangers by their unadorned surname is not polite.

There: is that clear now?

ps: as I said I'm William Connolley, but I don't watch or edit there. If you've got a question about it for me, you'll need to ask on my *user* talk page.

See also[edit]

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats