introducing people

November 16th, 2004

Disclaimer: First off I gotta say I know this applies to American/English culture but I don't know what the equivalent is elsewhere.

You've seen the introduction, you know it so well. It happens all the time, two people are walking down the street, they bump into someone one of them knows.
"Karen, this is Suzie"
"Suzie, this is Karen"
Is it just me or is there something funny about the sequence? Watch it in slow motion.
"Karen, hello, are you paying attention? Meet my friend Suzie."
"Hey, earth to Suzie. Can you please stop day dreaming for one goddamn minute? I'd like to introduce you to my friend Karen."

Clearer now? Why on earth would you need to call out the people's names when making introductions? There are only 3 people involved, the person making the introduction is obviously not talking about themself so the only possibility the two people have when they hear a name that isn't their own is that the name belongs to the other person. Now, how much focus and vigilance really is required to understand this turn of events? Is it really that difficult to follow this sequence below?
(turns to Karen) "This is Suzie"
(turns to Suzie) "This is Karen"
Or better yet..
(turns to Karen, gestures at Suzie) "Suzie"
(turns to Suzie, gestures at Karen) "Karen"

Less is more.

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9 Responses to "introducing people"

  1. Erik says:

    You're so cheap :D

  2. numerodix says:

    How does that help you to get them to tell you their name though? You'd have to say their name first, then pause and wait for the other person to say theirs. But that still shows you don't remember their name..
    "Karen, this is.. " (pause)

    How does that solve anything?

  3. Erik says:

    You don't use their names. As a person who keeps forgetting names, I know all the tricks in the book. You go:

    "Oh hi! Nice to see you here! What a coincidence! Oh, meet Martin here"

    Then you pause, which will be picked up by the other party to introduce themselves.


    Also; when confronted with a person who's name you can't remember in a situation where it's just the two of us, I've been know to use this trick:

    "Oh I feel terrible but I just realised I've forgotten your name."

    "(...) It's Martin!"

    "Eugh well duh, I know *that*, I mean your last name!"

  4. numerodix says:

    Yeah but you're supposed to introduce both people to each other so that just looks funny..

    The second one is not too bad though.. ;)

  5. River says:

    Oh damn...
    "Martin > Claire
    Claire > Martin
    Erik > Claire
    Claire > Erik "


  6. Erik says:

    Say what? :confused:

  7. River says:

    I posted that back a few comments ago. I just did what hes talking about.

    Get it?:D

  8. suki says:

    never thought it was such a big deal. :p sometimes others don't realise you're about to make an introduction, which is why i would address them in the first place.

  9. numerodix says:

    [9] Fair point.. how often does that happen, though? Once the introduction "starts", isn't it rather obvious what's going on? :)