What was your name?

We’ve all been there: the receptionist at an hotel, the telephone enquiry, the customer services representative who barely looks up and says “and what was your name?”  Why should my name have a past?  I haven’t changed it: I’m not a part of a police witness programme or a pop musician travelling incognito.  I know they mean “What name is the booking / purchase under” or similar but why can’t they say “What is your name?”  “Please” would be a nice addition, but I suppose that is too many syllables.   It grates like the announcements in the local airport, which invite us to “await in the departure lounge”; await what, exactly?  Don’t they know the difference between wait and await?  Silly question.  I wonder if these truncations are borne from tweeting and texting, assuming the random casting off of words isn’t important, that we’ll all understand.

The last time I was asked “What was your name” I said “it was, and still is, Andrew Gold”.  There was only the slightest twitch of a mascara’d  eyebrow to show that she was thinking “pedantic old twat” but she said, “Room 401.  Take the lift to the fourth floor and turn right.  Have a nice stay with us”.  What she meant was “and I hope the lift gets stuck.” Maybe she had a point.

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