My name is - outdated?

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Hachiko22

New Member
Hungarian
Hy!

I`m living in Japan for a while now and realized how they struggle with learning English.
Recently, however there are many tv shows about how to study effectively and they are trying to grab the
attention with spreading all sorts of interesting/surprising information.

One of these shows stated that self-introduction starts with "My name is" is extremely outdated and too polite, nobody uses
it any more in the English speaking countries. I`m not a native speaker either but have been studying English for a few years and have
never heard about this.

I am very interested in your opinion!

Thank you in advance!
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I sort of agree (a tad outdated), but it would depend on how formal/informal the context is. I can imagine where it would sound quite normal and where it would sound out of place.
     

    waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I agree that in many cases it would sound a little stiff to say "My name is (John Smith)" rather than something like "Hi, I'm (John Smith)" - but of course the former is perfectly correct, and would be understood by any English speaker - I think calling it "extremely outdated and too polite" is going a bit too far.
     
    Last edited:

    Susan Y

    Senior Member
    British English
    It doesn't sound at all outdated to me, although I think it is perhaps slightly more likely to be used when introducing yourself to a group of people in a reasonably formal context- at a meeting, for example: "Hi, my name's John Smith, and I'm the head of marketing for XYZ Group."

    If I were introducing myself to someone at a social occasion, I think I'd probably say "Hello/ hi, I'm Susan." But it wouldn't sound at all odd to me if the other person then replied: "Hi. My name's John Smith."

    Maybe yet another BE/AE split?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Welcome to the forum, Hachiko. Whoever told you that is wrong; it's not outdated.

    No, Susan, no split here. It's perfectly normal in AE as well—although, as you say, "my name's John Smith" is a little more formal than "I'm John Smith".
     

    Hachiko22

    New Member
    Hungarian
    Thank you very much for all your help! Since this tv program, I have been asked about this question all the time.
    I understand that "I`m" is more proper if you introduce yourself informally and "My name is" is a bit more formal and polite. Is this interpretation correct?

    Japan is thinking about making serious changes in the service industry because of the Olympic Games in 2020. Since being polite is an extremely important issue here, they are even thinking about what kind of
    English they should teach to Chauffeurs or Bellboys. You might laugh reading this, but it is the truth.

    So when a Bellboy approaches the customer to help or a Chauffeur introduces himself - they do it in Japan - would it be better to use "My name is" instead of "I`m"?
    What do you think? :D
     

    Susan Y

    Senior Member
    British English
    So when a Bellboy approaches the customer to help or a Chauffeur introduces himself - they do it in Japan - would it be better to use "My name is" instead of "I`m"?
    What do you think? :D
    I would suggest they use "My name is" for purely practical reasons. Many visitors to Japan would not expect a bellboy or chauffeur to introduce himself. If someone came up to me as a visitor and said "I'm Haruto" I might not register that the person was telling me his name, as the syllable "I'm" could easily be lost. I might well just think that he was saying something to me in Japanese, and I would probably just look blank! If he said "My name is Haruto" I would have more time (an extra two syllables) to register that he was telling me his name. :)
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    I heard "My name is John" just yesterday on the BBC TV quiz show "Eggheads". In this game, a team of five people challenge the experts, and so they all have to introduce themselves. Three said "I'm/I am..." and the other two said "My name is /name's..."

    It's all part of life's rich pattern.
     
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