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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.


Whenever I meet someone with a name much more interesting than "David", the first thing I do is ask them how they pronounce it. And then I make sure I use it, properly, during the ensuing conversation.

Your name is a big part of your identity, and if you want to try and connect with someone, a good way to start is by using their first name.

Technology makes it especially easy to use someone's name when communicating with them electronically.

It also makes it easy to get it wrong.

If you ever get an email addressed to [FNAME], the sender messed up. Whatever software they were using was supposed to insert your first name in the place of FNAME, but something went wrong, and your name was never included.

Nothing says, "you're just one of many people in my database, and you got the same letter as everybody else" as having it addressed to FNAME.

If you're going to try and make your communication more personal by using someone's first name within it, you have to make sure you get it right.

The good news is that doing so isn't that difficult.

- dp


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