> Wow, that is annoying. Luckily I've yet to experience that one. I'm quite happy that I'm still called 'Miss Aris' in business situations, and I tend to do the same when I'm talking to other people. Unless it's a contact through work that I'm familiar with, and then first names are quite normal. Actually I think there are some countries that have retained this small degree of formality better - like Germany. There it's quite common for work colleagues who don't know each other very well or who are at different levels of an organisation to call each other "Frau" or "Herr" whatever. Goes hand in hand with the decision to call someone "Sie" (formal 'you') or "Du" (informal 'you', probably closest equivalent in english is 'thee', which has dropped out of usage except in norther dialects). Actually, I'd be interested to see if 1912 habits of referring to one's husband in public had any difference across geographical areas?
> Dave, could you find out from your friend how to say "My name is not Mrs Lawrence, and I'm not interested. Now update your records and stop calling me before I advertise to the world how stupid your company clearly is" in Hindi?
Oh dear, Dave. On the one hand, like Vikki, I am tempted to ask for a crash course in gutter Hindi. But on the other hand, I know that these call-centre people in the Indian sub-continent are mostly degree graduates, and excellent English speakers, who are recruited to this ghastly job because work is comparatively scarce, despite reports of the burgeoning Indian economy.
So the poor b****** have little autonomy, even though they might desperately wish for some. I did once have a wonderful conversation with a terrific young lady over a bike I wanted to buy.
"Can you speak up?" she asked, "the Monsoon is rattling on the tin roof and I can hardly hear you."
She was very good indeed on bike specifications, and was extremely cheerful in general. I always think of her when I get the Mohans of this world, and hope she has moved on to better things.
Mon, I think you're spot on with 'my dear'. Or, less formally and perhaps a bit further down the social scale, just 'dear'. From my own far distant youth (South London, working class) I recall that a spouse was far more often addressed as dear, darlin' or luv than by their actual name. it was also quite common in a family for a man to address his wife as Mother, especially if their children were present - eg "Get the kettle on, Mother". In conversations with others there would be references to "My missus", "the wife", "my better half", "my old man" etc (not forgetting the Arfur Daily classic 'er indoors!). Use of the name seemed to be a last resort.
After searching for hours in the cave list I noticed a lot of couples (not to say most of them) stayed in different bedrooms. Why? Couldn't they share some intimacy or couldn't they see each other naked bodies? Was it inappropriate?
>>Why? Couldn't they share some intimacy or couldn't they see each other naked bodies?<<
I'm sure they could, but it just wasn't considered "proper" for anybody to know about it. There were quite a few attitudes towards human sexuality back then that we would not only consider odd, but downright prudish. The influance of the Victorian age was alive and well.
I couldn't last a day back then without breaking at least five traditions '-) !
>People didn't face the sexuality and their bodies as part of the nature<
João, I'm sure that there were some people who could face it and didn't mind - it just wasn't 'proper' according to the traditional customs. Totally different from Ancient Egypt where that kind of thing was VERY open, but that's a completely different topic...
>>People didn't face the sexuality and their bodies as part of the nature.<<
I wouldn't go quite that far. They hardly had much of a problem having babies, and these babies weren't concieved in a petri dish! It just wasn't something that was considered "proper" to discuss in "Polite Company". Impolite company was another matter.
>>It just wasn't something that was considered "proper" to discuss in "Polite Company".<<
Especially MIXED polite company (yep, impolite company was a completely different matter!). I'm sure women gossiped about men in private and vice versa, including other people's relationships. Though of course there would be limits to what one could discuss - propriety again - and it could have been done in a circumspect way (eg referring to a 'development' instead of someone being pregnant). Gossip has been around in just about every era, especially ones where social circles were less fluid and more people had the same acquaintances.
Like in Cameron's Titanic movie when Madeleine Astor talks about Jack and says something along the lines of "it's a shame we're both spoken for" or something like that. I know that it wasn't really 'private' and that the movie is not the most historically accurate movie, but it gives you a bit of an indication of what it probably was like.
Some years ago I read a 1907 book (it was from a Portuguese writer) and there is a chapter were a group of teenage girls are sitting in a room, having tea and gossiping about a group of young males sat in the opposite side of the room. At one moment, one of the polite girls with royal behavior says to her friends: "I don't like these silly long dresses! Why do we hide what they want to see?!".