• Because the prefix shows you their marital and legal status. Granted, this is not required in most situations, but it was much more important, say, 100 years ago. One behaved much differently with married people than with single people. There were lots of rules regarding "impropriety." So, that's probably when people became accustomed to adding the prefix. It also comes in handy when you see one of those gender-neutral names like "Pat," "Chris," or "Terry" to have the "Mr." or "Ms." in front of it. :o)
  • Back in the day, it was considered a no-no, to use first names,because it meant you were very familiar with that particular person & that was only allowed, pretty much, within the family. Even guests that were over frequently still used the surname...
  • It is just a convention. Most people these days prefer to be known by first names.
  • It is a formality when you don't want to be too familiar or being familiar is inappropriate.

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