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“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

There is something that really bothers me and I would like to put it out to everyone to see what the consensus is. This is something I have pondered and can’t quite figure out. I wonder if it is a generational thing, or a nationality thing or just a thing that I am incorrect about. OK here it is:

When addressing a married couple, I was always taught the woman’s name comes first, then the man’s name.  I’ll just use my name as my example, I was born Jocelyne ……. Grandjean, I married Robert…. Brown, therefore when addressing us as a married couple, I was taught it should be Jocelyne and Robert Brown.  The reasoning behind this is that Robert is the one who was born with the name Brown – I only married into that name.  Therefore one shouldn’t say Robert and Jocelyne Brown since I was not born a Brown. To me this makes perfect sense, yet time and time again I see it in print or hear it on the television as Robert and Jocelyne Brown.

Just today, when we were eating lunch, my husband and I were looking at the church bulletin and on the back page were a list of contributors to the bulletin. Each and every one was written with the man’s first name, then the wife’s first name and their last name. Of course when I saw this, I made my usual comment  to my husband – about how I was taught to write a married couples’ name. He agreed that the reasoning behind my theory made sense but said he never saw it written that way. Was everyone in the world wrong , he asked?

So my question to you is.  Is writing a couple’s name as Jocelyne and Robert Brown the old fashioned way of addressing a married couple – therefore making this a generational issue, or is it because my parents were immigrants and that’s how they did it in the old country making it a nationality thing, or am I just plain wrong. Has anyone else been taught the way I have been taught?

I would like to hear what everyone thinks.  I know I have readers from different countries and of different ages, therefore the answers I get will be from a varied source. I especially think that would be good since perhaps I’ll be able to figure out if it is indeed generational, or has to do with nationality.  Maybe, as my husband intimated, the rest of the world does it different from me.


About Mme Jocelyne

Hi, I'm a transplanted northerner–(born and raised in New York to French immigrants–Oui je parle Francais)-living in Florida for 20 years. In the 70's I worked as a realtor in the Bronx – City Island to be exact. Then I started a family and didn't keep up my license. I aspired to a career in architecture, so I went to New York Institute of Technology for three years, moved to Florida and finished my degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville. After 10 years of working in my dream career I sustained an injury to my shoulder. This injury never healed because I was constantly on the computer doing cad design. I finally decided to make a career change – something where I could use my training as an architect. Needless to say, I was worried – where will the money come from? How will I be able to afford my career change? But, I put my faith in God and went for it. It’s the best move I ever made, other than my husband, children and dogs.

3 responses »

  1. I was taught that when a couple is married, it is written with the male name first, then female. “Robert and Jocelyn Brown” ~~ I was told this was proper because the male was head of the house and followed the order same as “Mr. and Mrs. Brown” (since we do not see it written “Mrs. and Mr. Brown.”) I was raised in the midwest. Now I’m living in the southeast and notice the female name is always listed first. I’ve been confused by that and appreciate your explanation.

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog Serena. I was raised in the northeast and both my parents were immigrants. I too was confused and was hoping to clear up this matter. I hope more people weigh in on this matter – I’d love to know what some other theories are.

    • Hello Serena,
      I just realized something, when writing a salutation such as Mr. & Mrs. the man’s name is usually inserted prior to the last name such as: Mr. & Mrs. Robert Brown. I think over the years the MR & Mrs were dropped in favor of a less formal salutation and the first names were added in their place. In that case, the man’s name prior to the last name, would also need to be dropped, making the salutation read Robert and Jocelyne Brown.


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