I am writing a scientific paper and want to dedicate it to my former supervisor who passed away recently. The standard practice in this case is to write the dedication phrase just below the title of the paper. What I am not sure as I am a non-native speaker is the exact wording. It would be terrible if I write something offensive or inappropriate out of my ignorance. I have the following suggestions:

  1. To the memory of ...
  2. Dedicated to the bright memory of ...
  3. Dedicated to the memory of ...

My questions are

  1. Is option 1 ok without the word "dedicated"?
  2. Is the word "bright" fine here? I like this choice, but my worry is that it might be reserved for the people who were very close to him, or "bright" would imply some strange meaning that I am unaware of.
  3. What would you write?

2 Answers 2

  1. Omitting “dedicated” as in “To the memory of …” is accepted usage, attested for example by a Google Scholar search.
  2. On using “bright”, it depends strongly on your relationship with the deceased. If unsure, it may be best to proceed cautiously: people grieving undergo a lot of stress, and can have harsh and somewhat unpredictable reaction. The question to ask yourself is: by leaving it out, do you feel that your homage is lessened?
  3. Unless I knew him and knew what he felt like, in a very public place like a scholarly publication, I would go for something traditional. But then, I'm not the most demonstrative kind of chap.

I would recommend going with something simple:

In memory of [name].

which NOAD lists as

in memory of intended to remind people of, esp. to honor a dead person.

That you are writing a dedication is understood, and does not need to be explicit.

  • Why is "in memory of" preferable to "To the memory of"?
    – Quantum7
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 7:35
  • I don't know, it just is. Preposition use is sometimes capricious and arbitrary.
    – Robusto
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 14:21
  • I think a dedication is either "to [a person]" or "in memory of [a person]".
    – Elise
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 9:16

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