How do you tell people that you really hate the diminutive that they're calling you?

Careful expanding those names too folks. I can’t tell you how many times when I was a kid a teacher/adult/whoever would holler at me when I was acting up by screaming “ELIZABETH!” I’d blithely continue doing what I was doing. They would get all riled up and yell at me for “Not answering when they called me.”

Um, my name isn’t short for anything. It isn’t long for anything. It’s 4 letters a pretty common name in it’s own right (Thanks Elvis). Even so, a few folks even manage to have to shorten Lisa, to Lee.

I have a friend Kathleen who I have known for years. I’ll be damned if I can get her name right and her name is gotten so wrong so much, she doesn’t particularly care what you call her. She answers to any of the Cathy/Catherine/Kat/Kitty Kat/Catastrophe varieties.

No deal, sorry. Counter-offer: I call you by the name you want to be called and you do the same for me. Or are you going to insist in slapping your label on me? :slight_smile:

I have a friend called Luigi who was introduced to me as Gigi (or rather, Giggi as they pronounce it in Rome). One day I noticed that it was only me and the person who introduced him to me calling him with the diminutive, so I asked him: “Do you think of yourself as Luigi or Giggi?” He thought a bit, and told me he preferred his full name. That’s how I called him ever since.

Another guy I knew was called David but hated it, so he went by the nickname his mates made up, Boccione, which means Big Bowl. Always sounded daft to me, but he had a policy of actively not responding to his real name, so I just called him the way he preferred.

I was ‘Andy’ till I was 18, then went away to college to be called ‘Drew’. Can you go back to college?

I agree with you, and I’m really not trying to start an argument about it. If someone tells me they prefer “Robert” over “Rob”, I will make every effort to start calling them “Robert” (ironically, my brother-in-law is exactly one of those). However, I will also secretly wonder why they don’t want to be casual and friendly with me.

I mean, let’s face it… how people are addressed has certain implications. Mr. Whatever, Sir, Captain, Timothy, Timmy, Babe… All of them have a certain “air” or “feeling” or imply something. Insisting I am NOT Timmy, and I am ALWAYS Timothy seems really self-important and pretentious. I’d advise my friends to call me whatever THEY’RE comfortable calling me, realizing that it doesn’t really matter one way or the other.

That said, you’re right that they have every right to insist on being called whatever they want, and I will do my best to do that. But the OP has to recognize that there are people like me out there who will take it to mean you want a professional relationship with me and nothing more.

I think I addressed this earlier with the Patricia thing… she didn’t like being called Patty, but Pat or Trish were okay.

Anyway, like I said, it’s not the name itself that bothers me, it’s what’s implied when insisting on the full version of it. In your example, if he insisted I call him “Benjamin” every time I addressed him, I’d get the distinct impression he wanted to keep our relationship professional and never elevate it into “friendly” status.

It just seems to me that insisting I’m called “Timothy” is about half-a-step away from being called “Sir”.

Just another person chiming in to say that you should call people what they prefer to be called. They might like the full name from the birth certificate, some variation on that name, or a totally different nickname. (We’ve got grown men in Texas who go by “Bubba.” Like Brave Combo’s former bass player, who does not go by Cenobio Javier Hernandez.)

If these “pretentious” folks miss out on Happy Hour with The Timster, they’ll just have to handle the disappointment.

It’s not about you, it’s about the form of a name. In all likelihood it’s not about “friendliness” or “casualness.” They JUST PREFER THAT FORM OF THE NAME. That’s all. As people have said, maybe they’re named after their beloved Uncle Robert, who was always Robert, and so they want to be too. Or maybe “Uncle Bobby” was an asshole, and so they want to be Robert to separate themselves from that. Just because YOU assign “friendliness” or “coldness” to someone’s choice of name doesn’t mean that everyone else does. It’s not what’s implied, it’s what you’re (most likely erroneously) inferring. Big difference.

When I got married, people thought I “didn’t love my husband enough” because I didn’t take his name. No, I just wanted to keep my own name. Don’t go around ascribing imaginary intentions to people’s choices.

And you need to realize that even if it doesn’t matter to YOU what people call you, it matters very much to others, and that choice alone doesn’t make them self-important pretentious prigs. People are entitled to their own identity.

You’re jumping to a lot of conclusions.

I don’t care what people call themselves, I really don’t. And when people express a preference, I’ll do my best to call them whatever they prefer.

My point (which you’ve actually proved for me) is that people will take your preference and assign a motive to you. It happened with you, and it’ll happen with the OP.

I don’t think there’s a way you could possibly tell me you “I don’t go by Joe, I go by Joseph” that wouldn’t make you sound really self-important and much less approachable.

I may be assigning false motives, but others will certainly be doing the same thing and the OP needs to figure out if it’s really worth it.

Its worth it. I’m not a Chrissy.

I respond with “my family still calls me that on occation, but everyone else calls me Christina.”

As to the “kiddo” if he is a decent guy and likes you say “you know, as young as I am its really hard for me to build a professional image and earn respect - its even harder when you call me kiddo. I know you are just trying to be nice, but I’d appreciate it if you used my name.”

If he’s a jerk, do similar, leave out the “young as I am” keep the “professional” and put it in writing, copying his boss.

I dunno, ViCki, you might be a bit too sensitive.

A short form is a diminutive.

OK, pardon me for mangling the terminology. What is the name for the difference between “Ben” and “Benny”? The former would seem fine for a Benjamin of any age, but the latter seems like you’d expect him to be a kid. I don’t suppose too many bank presidents would put Benny on their gold door plate.

Not “Benny”, but surely Jimmy Carter would count, huh?

Ya got me there.

There’s no specific terminology that differentiates “Ben” from “Benny.” Right now, at this moment, you might perceive this distinction, but there’s no general rule that “Ben” is only for adults and “Benny” is only for children. They’re both diminutives of “Benjamin.” Perceptions about them might change over time, but I don’t think there has ever been general agreement about a general standard like you suggest.

What about Benny Goodman? If he had a gold door plate (and he could afford one) I doubt it would have said “Ben” or “Benjamin.”

Well, I’m not saying what people should or shouldn’t call themselves, nor what they have or haven’t called themselves throughout history. This all arose from the question of why wasson felt it was pretentious, cold and unfriendly for a person to be called what they want to be called, for which I still haven’t got an answer. That’s why I put out the name of Benjamin. If a guy named that wants to be known as Ben, but not Benny, what’s pretentious about that? If he’s not insisting you call him Benjamin, but does insist you don’t call him Benny, what is pretentious about that? Ben. It’s his name.

I thought I made it pretty clear in post 34 that I really only felt the full names screamed “pretentious”, but I thought it was entirely appropriate to say “I prefer Rob over Bob”, when the person’s name is Robert.

I guess it’s like you said… you expect the name “Benjamin” to be on a gold-plated office door. I expect to address my buddy as “Ben”. Therefore, I read it as pretentious, cold, unfriendly and professional to insist on the full name.

You’re making it seem like I’m saying “I’m going to call you whatever I want and you’re pretentious if you don’t answer!” Ben or Benny, I don’t care as long as I feel like I’m addressing you as a friend instead of a boss.

Apparently you DO care, because you ascribe all sorts of motives to why they want to go by a certain name:

Stranger: Hi, I’m Robert.
Normal Person: Hi, Robert, nice to meet you. (Thinks, “Hi, Robert, nice to meet you.”)
wasson: Hi, Robert, nice to meet you. (Thinks, “Wow, what a stuck-up bastard. Why won’t he be my FRIENNNNDDD???”)

And they are likely to be erroneous in doing so.

Well, that’s your issue.

Well, perhaps seeming unapproachable to people who go reading all kinds of nonexistent and unflattering meanings into my preference of what I want to be called isn’t such a bad thing. :dubious:

Your call… Have fun!

Personally, I understand that it’s a distancing thing to not let people call you by diminutive names; however, sometimes there are reasons that you want people to be forcibly distanced from you. In a professional setting, I feel more mature and like I’m being treated a bit more seriously by my bosses if they refer to me as Natasha instead of the many different diminutives that can be formed. Like “kiddo,” calling me by a diminutive name when you’re in a position of authority over me is a bit uncomfortable for me because it’s a subtle exercise in emphasizing both my age difference and my lesser status. When one is in an office, does one really need to emphasize the age differences between coworkers as an exertion of power?
If it’s a coworker, it’s a little different. Few of my coworkers have ever called me Tasha, but that’s really mostly because I didn’t present it as an option. I’m not currently in a job or position where I want to have close work friends as it is, and not using diminutives while still having a comfortable but relaxed work demeanor still keeps up the “nice to each other” bit at work.