Which one below is correct?

Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner
Mr. John s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner

Is it necessary to affix Mr. & Mrs. in this case? It seems superfluous to add Mrs. because a child is always of a Mr. & Mrs.

2 Answers 2


Is a child always the child of Mr and Mrs X? What about unmarried couples, single mothers and cases where the wife does not take the husband's surname? At least in the west and other areas where these are not uncommon cases it is safer to be specific if there could be any doubt. I am also a little concerned about "Mr John" as, unless John is his surname, it is uncommon to use Mr with first name and not surname. I would recommend either

"Mr. John Wagner s/o Mr. & Mrs. Wagner" c.f. "Mr John Wagner s/o Mr. Hislop & Mrs. Merton"

what about "Mr John Wagner s/o Mr. & Mr. Merton"?

it is very uncommon for s/o to be used in British English (not sure about US) and even in formal situations it has become very rare that someone's parentage is mentioned unless their parents are more well known than they are or if it is pertinent to the point being made. Why do you need this construct? It is an uncommon and gawky construct to (UK) English speaking(?) ears.

  • You might use it in the Forthcoming Marriages column of The Times.
    – Andrew Leach
    Dec 4, 2014 at 11:53
  • fair point and afaik (more of an FT reader) that is traditionally of the form "Mr John Wagner s/o Mr. Ian Hislop & Mrs. Paul Hislop nee Merton" isn't it? (no prizes for where I'm getting my names from!)
    – MD-Tech
    Dec 4, 2014 at 13:00

Mr. John s/o Mr. Wagner is correct. Whatever be the case, a child is never born of asexual reproduction.

  • 1
    what about those instances where the mother is't a Mrs. Wagner?
    – MD-Tech
    Dec 4, 2014 at 13:01
  • not my downvote btw
    – MD-Tech
    Dec 4, 2014 at 13:07
  • That's what I meant to say that sentence looks good generally. If Mr. Wagner is the father and Mrs. Thompson is the mother, who cares, he will still be s/o Mr. Wagner. I am not so good in english, but this is more of common sense. If Mr. Thompson adopted John, then you can say "Mr John s/o Mr. Thompson", you don't need to be sensitive or informative about it. Dec 4, 2014 at 13:30
  • "If Mr. Wagner is the father and Mrs. Thompson is the mother, who cares, he will still be s/o Mr. Wagner." - he will also be s/o Mrs. Thompson... or is she not important enough to mention? If you are going to say s/o one parent you ought to mention the other surely?
    – MD-Tech
    Dec 4, 2014 at 13:38
  • You can say s/o Mrs Thompson...you don't need to mention the name of both the parents until asked so.. Dec 4, 2014 at 14:38

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.