20

As Tuvok is Vulcan, I would think that he'd view basically everything in light of Starfleet guidelines, including how subordinates address him. However, he is apparently okay with Harry Kim and Tom Paris, for example, calling him by his first name. This is the case even though the two are of lower rank and sometimes obnoxious.

Is there a canon reason why Tuvok doesn't ride them (and other subordinates) for not addressing him as "Sir" or "Lieutenant"?

  • 4
    Perhaps insisting on being addressed by rank unnecessarily is illogical... – colmde Jul 30 '18 at 10:58
  • @colmde I have some recollection (not 100%) of Spock insisting on being addressed by rank by subordinates in one episode of TOS. But those were special circumstances. – Z. Cochrane Jul 30 '18 at 13:26
  • Well, Voyager is a unique place compared to other Starfleet ships. It would probably be unsustainable if Janeway insisted on military rigor for possibly 70 years. – Azor Ahai Jul 30 '18 at 17:58
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    To clarify - The title seems like the question is about calling him Tuvok, rather than using some sort of Vulcan surname; however, the body of the question is about calling him by name rather than by rank or some similar honorific, e.g. "sir".Perhaps the titel should be changed to "...calling him by name"? – RDFozz Jul 30 '18 at 20:18
  • They also call him "Mr. Tuvok" a lot. – Reactgular Jul 30 '18 at 20:48
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As far as I'm aware, Vulcans only have one name, or at least one commonly used name. Spock, for instance, was simply Commander Spock. T'Pol was simply (Sub-)Commander T'Pol.

Generally speaking, it seems that Starfleet protocol is that in the case of officers with only one name (Tuvok, Worf, Data) it is not seen as overly familiar to use their one name as though it was a last name.

As for why Tuvok specifically doesn't make a fuss about it, well, Vulcans are used to meeting the illogical behavior of their comrades - especially human ones - with stoicism.

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    This does not address being "addressed by a subordinate". Convention (if not regulation) in branches of the US military, from which Star Trek draws a lot of influence, is: with subordinates around you call peers and superiors by Rank and Name, when subordinates aren't around, first name or last name is okay for peers. Supervisors are addressed by Rank or Rank and Name (addressing by rank alone is often reserved for general officers, Rank and Name is "by the book") or Sir, not just Name. Kim and Paris are in breach of regulations and good manners. – Smartybartfast Jul 30 '18 at 9:12
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    @Smartybartfast maybe that's why Kim never gets a promotion. – OrangeDog Jul 30 '18 at 9:22
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    @OrangeDog Yeah, and Paris got busted out of a Penal Colony, he's not exactly what you'd call a "by the book" kind of guy. – dkwarr87 Jul 30 '18 at 10:28
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    IIRC there was a scene in in TOS where Spock said that he has a last name, but it can't be pronounced by humans. But as with so many details in Star Trek, later writers might have forgotten about this. – Philipp Jul 30 '18 at 11:06
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    @Philipp : Or perhaps not forgotten, but discarded out of practical necessity for the show's production. The Vulcan language has been spoken in some of the movies at least (haven't seen all the series), and of course human actors were required to speak it and so it contains no non-pronounceable sounds. Thus there is a conflict set up in the canon here. – The_Sympathizer Jul 30 '18 at 11:29

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