They Call Me Mister James!

My double life as Jim or James

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ADVENTURE TIME and all related character and elements are trademarks of and © Cartoon Network

Finn: Dude, James is kind of, uh, goofy.

Jake: I wasn’t gonna say anything, but yeah. Maybe when we get to know him better, it’ll be charming

— Adventure Time

Years ago I taught a bunch of really young kids for a day.

They were used to addressing teachers formally by their last name.

They didn’t know my surname but refused to just use my first name.

So all day they kept calling me Mr James instead.


Most of the time people have the good sense to call me Jim or James.

Jim is short for James.

My preferred name is Jim but my legal name is James — it baffles me how many people don’t understand or respect this.

Most people have called me Jim since University. It sounds friendly so I prefer it at work and in general.

I often say ‘my name is Jim’ because it’s easier than trying to explain that they feel like two separate people.

Jim is extrovert me. James is introvert me.

People like Jim, including people who don’t like James.

Jim is the friendly one.

James is the grumpy and sarcastic one.

Jim is happiest when talking to people.

James is happiest when most people talk to Jim instead.

Jim is the friendly and outgoing suit-of-clothes that I put on when I go out.

James would much prefer to be curled up like a cat, drinking tea, and writing.

James Garside is an independent journalist and writer. You can follow him on Medium, join him on Patreon, and chat with him on Twitter. Sign up for his newsletter if you enjoyed reading it and want more.

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NCTJ-qualified journalist, writer and travel photographer. Part-time vagabond, full-time grumpy arse. Web: Substack:

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