I am wondering if anyone might have a suggestion about how to request to be addressed by a personal title and one's surname. For example, I prefer to be addressed as, "Mr. Redgate," but I do not wish to come across as rude. I was taught that it was rude to address someone by their Christian name unless that person has given you permission to address them as such; we were admonished for being too familiar.

I am not fond of most people calling me by my Christian name and especially the abbreviated, "Joe," "Jo Jo" or "Joey." Such familiarity, especially by people with whom I am unfamiliar, is quite offensive to me. What is frustrating is that I know that if I politely request that they refrain from such addresses, I am the one who is thought to be rude.

Does anyone have any suggestions?


The way to do it is to wait until they've used your name while asking something of you, either a question or a favor. You then have the opportunity to say, "It's Mr. Redgate, and, yes, I will be able to help you with that. How does next Tuesday at 3 o'clock sound to you?" By waiting until they've asked a question, you achieve two things: you appear patient for not giving a knee-jerk reaction the first time they used Jo so familiarly and you get to couch the feedback in such a manner that the person doesn't feel put on the spot with having to respond or apologize after you've made a correction that otherwise could just hang awkwardly in the air.


In most English speaking cultures it is now expected that peers will address each other by their given names. While some parents may teach their children to address other adults by their titles and family names, to expect that from other adults will be perceived as very odd and off-putting.

It is however very common to request that people use a particular form of a name. It will not be perceived as rude to ask others to call you only "Joseph" rather than "Joe" or "Joey".

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