When dialing a friend of one of my kids the other day, I got their answering machine. [Identities have been changed to protect those to whom I'm about to be condescending.] "Hi, you've reached John and Jane. We can't take your call right now, so please leave a message." Straight-forward enough, yes? What's so perplexing? They have a kid. Their offspring is about double-digit in age. But you wouldn't know they had said offspring by their message, would you?
So here I am, having scribbled a note to myself a couple of days ago to post about it, when I come across this post courtesy of City Mama. She posted it on what is presumably her paying gig at Babble. Some folks are apparently against including the names of kids in outgoing messages. As if you have really reached an infant. Or, worse, a fetus. Or, worse still (I think), someone's pet.
Yes, my outgoing message includes the names of all of us (humans, anyway) who reside in the house. I've apparently not committed the cardinal sin of having each of our voices on the message. (I think that's seen in some quarters as paramount to naming Nemo the pet fish or Stephanie the hamster. I, myself, find it somewhat endearing, but, as the title of the post indicates, I'm clearly not the arbiter of endearing. Or of anything.)
My problem with John and Jane not mentioning Junior is that the caller might not be trying to reach John or Jane. Like me, the caller might have been trying to reach Junior. By the sound of the message, the caller has reached a wrong number because there are only two people in the household, and neither of them is called Junior.
It's one thing to just have a robotic voice message. Or a message which indicates you've reached a phone number. But if you're going to start naming the folks in the household, let's either include the kid or say the caller has reached the Doe family.