puzzling.org · mary.gardiner.id.au

The Names of Mary

If you call me:

You're practically anyone, and our relationship could be of some years standing and extremely close, or we may be meeting for the first time.
You're part of my immediate or extended family.
You're my father.
Mary Elizebeth G
You're the Roads and Traffic Authority, Sydney University, the National Bank, the Department of Foreign Affairs, or my father in 1981, forgetting how to spell "Elizabeth" while filing my birth certificate.
Mary Elizabeth G
You're the Australian Tax Office, the Australian Electoral Roll, my local library, Macquarie University, St George Bank or one of a number of other organisations who need to teach their data entry people to trust people's spelling of their own name.
We met on the 'net and have either never met, or only briefly met, in person.
You're a couple of years younger than me and we went to high school together. Get it together folks, it's five years later and it's time to get over the fact that I'm taller than you.
You went to high school with me and are almost certainly Josh D, although other people used that name when you made it up. You still make me laugh in memory.
Mrs B
You're either a recruiter or a telemarketer, and you want to speak to a man who isn't my husband.
Mrs G
You may a telemarketer, and you should check your assumptions, or better yet, just don't call. Alternatively, you want to speak to my father and you've mistaken me for my mother, or you're one of my international (mainly German or USian) correspondents who know me only as the admin staff of an academic journal. OK then, whatever.
Dr G
You're definitely one of my international correspondents who know me only as the admin staff of an academic journal, and you are probably a little out of touch with the type of people who staff administrative positions in academia. But hey, whatever!
Miss G
You are an increasingly rare breed, and probably work for Countrylink, whose staff seem to be taking a stand about this kind of thing. You are correctly asserting my last name and the fact that I'm not married, but if I do marry, damned if I'm updating your records. What a nightmare.
Ms G
We've almost certainly never met and you're hedging your bets. However, you've chanced on the title I actually do use.
Mary G (when addressing me)
You are either my boss or my father if addressing me in person, or someone who is hedging their bets even further in regards to my title if addressing me in writing. I completely understand, having spent the last year trying to guess whether people are "Mr", "Mrs", "Ms", "Dr", "Professor", "Herr Professor" or one of a number of other possibilities when contacting people in the course of my job.
Miss Mary
You're my father.
Mary Elizebeth
You're my father.
You're my father and you're sending one of your rare emails.
You're my sister, and given that you call our mother Mazzeltoff, we may both turn around.
Sarah, Julia or Steph
You are my mother and are cycling through the names of close female relatives.

Last modified: 12 March 2004