Tag: titles

Member Post

 

I just spoke to an engineer friend today who told me that PENNDOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, no longer allowed the use of Mr., Mrs., or even Ms in official letters. Only the person’s name is to be used. This has been put out there by the PTB with deadly seriousness. This apparently to […]

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Member Post

 

I work at the front desk of a hotel during the graveyard shift. You could call me a “night auditor”, a “night manager” or just a “front desk agent”. At various times I prefer different titles. If I want to impress people with my technical knowledge, I might go with “auditor” (even though my book […]

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An Intemperate Proposal Regarding Titles

 

In The Conservatarian Manifesto — which I finished last night and, as The Daily Shot might put it, heartily recommend — Charles C. W. Cooke writes:

By custom, we allow politicians to retain their titles for life. Throughout the 2012 election, Mitt Romney was referred to as “Governor Romney,” when in fact he had not been in public office for six years. One can only ask, “Why?” America being a nation of laws and not men, political power is not held in perpetuity, and there is supposed to be no permanent political class. Americans do not have rulers, they have employees— men and women who can be hired and fired at will and who remain subordinate both to the highest law in the land and to the popular will that it reifies. It is wholly proper for individuals to adopt titles when they have been hired by the people. But it is utterly preposterous for those individuals to retain those titles when their commission has come to an end. To my leveling tastes, even titles such as “Doctor” and “Professor” should be limited to the workplace. But at least those honorifics denote a permanent achievement or skill set. “Governor” is, by definition, a temporary responsibility. A citizen maintaining it after he has left office makes about as much sense as a retired CEO insisting that he be referred to as “Chief Executive” after he has left his post.

Adulthood Is Awesome. Embrace It.

 

2407282649_c52cbc624f_zOkay, maybe it’s just the existential crankiness that comes from turning 31 today, but I have to get this off my chest: Why do people complain about being called “mister,” “miss,” “sir,” or “ma’am”?

I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. If one was past puberty, one was a mister or a miss. My babysitter was Ms. Stacy; my sister’s best friend’s mom was Ms. Sheri; the gentlemen who owned the pool across the street was Mr. Hazelwood — that was even how I referred to him when I told my parents of his recent death. It was the same dynamic at school and a church. As kids, we were stuck with just first names, but the adults had titles! Mr. and Mrs. for most, Brother and Sister for the really old school folks in the congregation.

Then we moved to the Kansas City area. My first Sunday, I was introduced to the Sunday School teacher who laughed when I tried to call him Mr. Robin. This has been a recurring experience ever since — I attempt to show some respect to an adult, and the responses are variations on “Mr./Ms.So-and So is my father/mother” or “Are you trying to make me feel old?” (I especially find the latter type strange when the speaker is clearly over 60).