So, when you used to watch Dallas back in the UK in the 1980s* did you just accept that Miss Ellie was called Miss Ellie and that was just her name?
Well, let me tell you, UK citizens, it’s not just her name. The use of “Miss’ in front of a lady’s Christian name is a common form of greeting and continuation of use of name in conversation.
I was recently introduced to a child as ‘Miss Claire’. I’m no Southern lady, I sniggered to myself, but it has since dawned on me that everyone of the female form is called ‘Miss Someone or other’.
And, all said and done, it is quite polite don’t you think? I imagine Harry will adopt the greeting style soon enough.
(*or not, if you were me because I wasn’t allowed to, though thankfully this changed at boarding school, to some extent, when our house mistress would record episodes for us and occasionally on a Sunday would let us watch them, but she would sit in wait and fast forward anything that she deemed to be inappropriate – i.e. kissing, fighting or scenes about drinking/abortions/affairs).
You may be relieved to know it’s only like that here in the South – I moved to Baltimore from Boston, and I was astonished at the use of Miss or Mister and first names for the adults. At home I was raised to refer to an adult as Ms., Mrs., or Mr. and the surname. Took a while to get over the Gone with the Wind-ness of it.
Yes, just like Gone with the Wind!