Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, February 08, 2008

First names? Last?

Something has been jumping out of news broadcasts lately, and that is the use of people's names. The place where this anomaly appears is in discussions of the current presidential campaigns. I listen to NPR news and commentary on my commute. My ears hear that the NPR commentators are consistent in using the same name structure for all candidates, but the people they are interviewing do not use that same habit.

All of the candidates except for Hillary Clinton are referred to either by their last name or by both their first name and last name. That makes sense to me. But as the commentators interview other individuals and those individuals refer to the candidates, they consistently refer to Obama, Barak Obama, McCain, John McCain, and Hillary.

Why is that? Yes, she is a well-known political figure, but so are the others. I have never heard any of the other candidates referred to by just their first name. It seems that if some confusion was expected using just Clinton (between Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton) that the appropriate thing to do would be to use her full name.

Is it just me? Or does this bother you too?