Jonah Goldberg is starting fights again. He tweeted that referring to Jill Biden as "Doctor" is kind of silly. Mayhem ensued, of course. I'm split on the matter of calling non-medical doctors doctor. When addressing Paul Rahe, I do it out of immense respect. When addressing Rachel Lu I sometimes do it -- also because of respect and because I feel like a student before a professor in some of these conversations. I think in this instance Jonah hits the nail on the head:
In my experience inside the Beltway, insisting on being called “Doctor” when not being addressed by students is a sign of vanity or some other insecurity [...] And people who insist on calling other people “Doctor” do so for similar reasons — out of an over-compensating need to show respect. That need itself exposes an obvious double standard. I don’t recall Lynne Cheney being called “Dr. Cheney” very often. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature. Her dissertation was titled “Matthew Arnold’s Possible Perfection: A Study of the Kantian Strain in Arnold’s Poetry.” That sounds at least as worthy of respect as Jill Biden’s dissertation: “Student Retention at the Community College: Meeting Students’ Needs.”
What say you Ricochetti?