Healthy distance

November 29, 2012

Sue Norton's caution against first-name use ("Suitable address", Opinion, 1 November) rests on the correct sense that the classroom is not a democracy, that there is (one hopes) a "knowledge gap" between instructors and students. The class is also not a gathering of friends (although it may become one, of course). One calls one's friends by their first names, but is rarely required to grade or fail them. A little onomastic distance in the classroom is therefore appropriate.

John Edwards, Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

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