4

In military contexts you often see sentences like this one:

"General Montgomery decided to..."

I am now writing an evaluation about a sale my company had had, and I want to credit several people while quickly mentioning their role in the operation. So, is this...

"We sent an email to Store Manager Kenneth Johansson in order to..."

...or that...

"Thanks to Booking Coordinator Elin Dansbo's work we were able to..."

...readable and grammatically correct, or should I instead put their position in parenthesis after their name, or use some other kind of structure?

2 Answers 2

3

As bib said, it is very unusual to refer to someone by their title directly. You can do it, and it is quite common in political and military organizations, but rarely ever done in private business enterprises.

To get around this, try the following construct:

"We sent an email to our store manager, Kenneth Johansson, in order to..."

This form of addressing someone's role in a company, as a posessive, is quite common in American Engilsh construction. It can even be used if the employee is not a part of the company, and instead only contracted by the company. It can even be used if you have a partner in business, by referring to them as "Our partner company x".

2
  • 2
    I agree, but would add commas before and after the name in this case (but not where the title is used without a pronoun or article). I also would not capitalize the title in your example (but would in the OP's example).
    – bib
    Sep 11, 2013 at 14:01
  • Agreed, and I have even edited my answer to reflect this. Though they will need to be careful with the second example they gave. "...our booking coordinator, Elin Dansbo's, work..." does not quite work as well, and would probably benefit from a lack of commas.
    – Zibbobz
    Sep 11, 2013 at 14:10
6

In US usage, this form of address is acceptable and common in written materials and in formal speeches.

However, while military and political office titles are often used as a form of direct address

Mayor Jones, how will you vote?

I am reporting for duty, General Puglisi.

occupational tiles are rarely used in that fashion. When talking to the company head, you would say

Ms. Toledo, I think I deserve a raise.

not

President Toledo, I think I deserve a raise.

And then there is that particularly strange pattern in the US federal government of address those in some of the highest offices by combining a standard gender title with an office title, such as

Mr. President [of the United States]

Madame Speaker [of the House of Representatives]

Mr. Chairman [of a Congressional committee]

This is a discussion of protocol in forms of address to government figures.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.