College graduates: when do you stop calling people Mr. and Ms.?

I graduated and am now, it seems, I am a professional freelance writer.

So when do I stop presuming to address editors with titles, Mr., Mrs. and the like?

I’ve had the conversation with friends and colleagues, and no one seems to have much of a real answer.

Some say using a title in an e-mail suggests I’m young and inexperiened. Others say just the opposite, that the formality gives a sense of greater age.

For now, I’ve stuck with using titles until an editor tells me otherwise; unless, I’m sending something the way of a publication with a decidedly more informal setting, most blogs, alternative weeklies and the like.

If you figure out a better rule or the absolutely exact moment I should drop the titles and go with first names, let me know.

4 thoughts on “College graduates: when do you stop calling people Mr. and Ms.?”

  1. I am 45. I do NOT like to be called Mr. or Sir.

    Normally it’s done by people who are doing what I call ‘polite rudeness’

    “Sir, that’s not the way we do things here”

    “Mr. Harper, you must…”

    Anyway, I think that if it’s someone older than 60 you can’t go wrong calling them Mr. or Mrs. That’s their culture.


  2. “Ha, Post-Gazette,” said Mr. Wink.

    Ron, that’s as good an answer as I’ve gotten – by generation. But I’ve certainly come across folks not that much older than I am who like very much their title. I waver constantly on what is my default- first name or title and last.

  3. mr. harper, i’m sure people address you as “mr.” because they’re trying to be respectful (similar to the way they would address a 70 year old)

    i’m 21 (turn 22 in a few hours) and i address anyone who looks old enough to be my father with a “mr.” or “ms.” or “mrs.” unless they say otherwise…at 45, you’re more than twice my age

    no offense…i’m sure some people are trying to be rude but other times that’s not the case…you’re just old–er

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