E.B. White, in a 1969 Paris Review interview:
Television affects the style of children — that I know. I receive letters from children, and many of them begin: “Dear Mr. White, My name is Donna Reynolds.” This is the Walter Cronkite gambit, straight out of TV. When I was a child I never started a letter, “My name is Elwyn White.” I simply signed my name at the end.This observation reminds me of what I wrote in my post on how to e-mail a professor:
Why sign with your name, class, and meeting time? It’s a courtesy, yes, but it also avoids the awkward “My name is . . . , and I am a student in your such-and-such class,” all of which is taken care of in the signature. It occurs to me that “My name is . . . , and I am a student in . . .” is telling evidence of the unfamiliarity of e-mail as a way for students to communicate with professors.“My name is” does sound childlike, doesn’t it? Or spammy: “Hello My Dear One, my name is,” &c.