Name Game

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Question: How formal should I be in addressing my teacher? Is there a point where I should call her by her first name?

Elizabeth Richter

Elizabeth Richter is Professor of Harp at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

Have you ever been called by the wrong name, or by a nickname that you hate? Your name is so closely tied to your self-image and identity that it feels very uncomfortable to be addressed in any other way than the one you prefer. I always ask students what they would like to be called and expect that they will honor my preference too. It is disrespectful not to make the effort to learn and use a person’s correct name and title.

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