Miss Dessie Octavia Vargas recalled:
One thing we discussed was the intimate form of address, “thou”, now obsolete in English. Almost all of us have at least enough knowledge of some European language to know that there are different words for the second person according to whether one is intimate with them or formal: “Usted” and “tu” in Spanish, “Sie” and “du” in German, and so on.

By coincidence, on a mailing list I’m on, just yesterday a German pette was asked a question about the use of the German “du”. One thing she said seems relevant: schoolchildren address their classmates as “du”, but only since the Eclipse (not that she called it that) have college students begun doing the same.

It made me so sad to learn that. It makes me glad we’ve stopped using the intimate form in English, since if we still had it bongos would doubtless misuse it. 

Lady Aquila commented:
People have often talked about a revival of the intimate-singular “thou” in Telluristasian usage. It is a very charming form, used properly. But Miss Vargas is quite right in saying that it is fortunate that Tellurians have lost it as they would undoubtedly be misusing it by now.

The widespread abuse of first-names in Telluria is the exact equivalent of the wrongful use of “tu” in France or “du” in Germany. In fact some more civilised English people (of whom there is a tiny handful left) refer to this outlandish first-naming of everyone as “tutoiement” which is the French term for “tu-ing” and “toi-ing” people inappropriately.

Among some Tellurians the avoidance of surnames is almost a taboo, so that when two Jims have to be distinguished, they will say “Jim from Woodford” or “Jim with the beard”. It has an almost mediaeval ring to it. Perhaps eventually these cognomens will become hereditary and they will have surnames again!

One sometimes wonders what lies behind this horror of the surname. A false intimacy, certainly. A crude egalitarianism too. But is it not also a near-psychotic individualism that hates to associate a person with her roots in estate or even in family? Each person must be a floating atom belonging to no-one but herself (and the Octopus), with no roots and nothing but a personal name.

The new bonds which many of us form in Aristasia are for us a new rootedness and the beginnings of a sound, wholesome and home-like non-atomised society. 

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