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Jul 19th 2012 at 7:45:46 AM •••

Is it just me, or is there a sort of class tension involved in the use of surname only? Boarding school students tend to use surname-only with each other, and Holmes and Watson do that as well, but servants in large houses were also addressed by surname only. I may be reading into it a bit, but it seems like Draco Malfoy (and even his father Lucius, for that matter), in calling Harry by his surname, are implying Harry is of lower social status than they are.

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Jul 19th 2012 at 10:26:08 AM •••

I don't think that has anything to do with it, honestly. In my school, most of the guys used each others' surnames by default, especially if they were in sports. I know in my case, it was partly because there were several other people in my classes who shared the same first name.

For all we know, there are dozens of Harry's at Hogwarts. Them calling him "Potter" isn't about social status or class so much as identifying Harry as Harry Potter specifically, and maybe in some cases keeping the association with his parents.

Aug 29th 2010 at 8:37:55 AM •••

I think this trope needs some clarification - is it about the use of just surname, or "surname and title"?

Aug 29th 2010 at 8:32:28 AM •••

Cut. Are you kidding me? Conversation In The Main Page is one thing, but conversation in the trope description...

  • Not just this time frame at all! This non-American troper goes spare at being first named by strangers, especially in business. It may be usual here (NZ) but it's rude.
    • For the record, most US businessmen would find first-naming to be rude. You might refer to a coworker as "George", or a customer you talk to almost every day, but it would be very strange to get that from a stranger.
  • However, this American troper, who has also spent a few years abroad in Europe, still considers it pompous, or at least unfriendly and off-putting, to demand to be addressed by a last name.
  • Funnily enough this southern born American troper, who's also been living in Europe for several years, finds the automatic first name thing overly familiar, especially when it relates to supervisors, lecturers, or people's parents.
  • This UK troper is of the "You say 'Mr X', and I turn around to see if my dad's entered the room" generation.

Edited by johnnye
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