I’m comfortable with my name(s). I’ve never used a nom de plume, and I prefer it when people call me by my first name. I know, from when I work in schools, that most teachers prefer the more formal, Miss, Mr or Mrs, but I’m happy with the children calling me Colin. However, I’ve never liked being addressed by my surname. “How are you, Will?” doesn’t sound right, although one of the more eccentric members of the choir I used to sing in always greeted me that way. Mr Will’s OK in most formal circumstances. If it’s a professional thing, then it’s Dr Will, because that’s who I am, but it’s seven years since I retired from my profession, and the ‘Dr’ isn’t used much these days. I was told it’s good to use it when booking airline tickets, because it gives you a better chance of upgrades, but I’ve never done that, because I have visions of an airline steward asking me to look at a sick traveller, and I doubt if my knowledge of information science would help with a cardiac infarction or a pulmonary embolism.
I remember when my my parents moved house they discovered their new neighbour was a Brigadier. “How should we address you?” they asked.
“George,” he replied.
I like that.