An article in today's edition of The Times carries the headline "Too chummy by half? Why we don't want to be on first-name terms".
It seems that I am not alone in my dislike of being addressed by my first name by someone I don't know. A survey by Ask Jeeves, a search engine, discovered that overall 55% of responders to the survey preferred to be addressed by their title when spoken to, written to or emailed by a stranger. An even higher percentage disliked this "personalised impersonality" when it came from someone who was cold calling on the telephone.
I don't know, at the time I included my distaste for the practice in a recent Blog I thought maybe it was just me. Or perhapse it's the reserved Brits who don't go for this feeling of "We're all mates together" syndrome, or "fake friendliness" as it is referred to in the article. And as the article concludes, "There is nothing wrong with friendliness but it just doesn't wash when it comes from someone you have never met or even spoken to".