Modern Manners: The Importance Of Staying Afloat

Throughout much of modern history, it would have been considered catastrophically impertinent to address a new acquaintance — especially one of higher social rank — by their first name.

Today, in some situations, it's best to stick to a level of formality.

A 2013 survey in the UK found people really don't like telemarketers calling them by their first names, the Daily Mail reported.

However, it's becoming less common for people to insist on being addressed by their title and last name, Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz reported. A 1992 study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information found 45% of patients preferred to be called by their first names when meeting a physician for the first time — and 26% of respondents had no preference. When it came to doctors whom they knew well, 78% of patients wanted to be called by their first names.

Keep in mind, this isn't true across all cultures. Alan Hart writes in "Going to Live in France" that pulling this with an acquaintance in Paris could be considered a case of brash "over-familiarity."

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