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An old discussion about patronymic
mpd_eng

Русская версия

It was in 2004. My English wasn't very good.
I talked with a Russian who went to USA.
Let's call him X Y Z (name-patronymic-surname) from a company Q.
From: Maxim Dementiev [mailto:dementiev@***.ru]
Sent: Monday, September 13, 2004 4:08 AM
To: Z, X
Subject: ********* ********'s cell phone number.
X!

...........................
...........................
...........................

Maxim Dementiev.

P.S.: I don't now your middle name. Please, tell me it.
From: Z, X [mailto:X_Z@Q.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 2004 9:09 PM
To: Maxim Dementiev
Subject: RE: ********* ********'s cell phone number.
Hi Maxim,

May be you will find it strange but I prefer that people call me by my first name X or, when we get acquainted real well, they can call me x without regard to the age difference.

See you soon in Moscow,
X
From: Maxim Dementiev [mailto:dementiev@***.ru]
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2004 4:47 AM
To: Z, X
Subject: Middle name theme: I see and I respect...
Hi, X!

No really, I don't find it strange but I find it a-la west.
And you know it well.
They say: "...Vladimir Putin is...", "...Mikhail Gorbatchov are..."
And they are in them own way. I respect it.

And I'm really sorry that our people - may be journalists or pressmen - try to copy this style.
We have our own style, we can say "...Vladimir Vladimirovich...", "...Mikhail Sergeevich..."...
I find it good.

So, any way, I see, and I give you word that I never return to this theme.

..........

See you later.
Best regards,
Maxim Dementiev.
From: "Z, X"
Sent: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 07:32:51 -0700
To: Maxim Dementiev
Subject: RE: Middle name theme: I see and I respect...
I also respect your opinion and find it, in a good sense, patriotic. I would not mind you to call me X Y but it would be so different from other 60 people in our organization that you would look like "белая ворона" and it would not make any good to either of us. So, I agree, let's close this issue since we clarified it enough. :-))

Update from Russian comments:
  1. It was before my first meeting with X (we were arranging a time and place in this correspondence);
  2. X is older than I am; and I wasn't thirty yet;
  3. We both were born and grew up in The USSR;
  4. I wasn't aware of how long X had had been in America, how much he americanized himself, how much he deviated from Russian traditions;
  5. I had rarely communicated with people from the West at that time, I hadn't known their traditions very much (actually I started to communicate with foreigners only in Deutsche Bank);
  6. Sometimes I still want to address to elder and respected people (with those I share the birth and residence in the ex-USSR) by name+patronymic;
  7. Personally I don't see anything shameful in a question or reply about people' patronymic, especially if it's to the point; indeed, I asked him in brief, he replied with this tirade, I found what to reply and explain to him...