Questions tagged [honorifics]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
30
votes
9answers
49k views

Is it proper to omit periods after honorifics (Mr, Mrs, Dr)?

I've been reading the Economist lately and they apparently don't punctuate honorifics like "Mr.", "Mrs.", e.g. The popular rejection of Mr Mubarak offers the Middle East’s best chance for reform in ...
27
votes
5answers
51k views

Why is it “your Majesty”, but “my Lord”?

Why is it "your Majesty", but "my Lord"?
26
votes
5answers
68k views

When is it appropriate to use the title “Miss” as opposed to “Ms.”?

There has been some disagreement in my other online searches, and in my own education. Assuming that I do not know if the individual addressed is married, when should I use Miss Brown, and when ...
23
votes
11answers
9k views

Why doesn't the English language have distinct words to use when talking to elders? [closed]

In many of the languages that I've studied there are separate distinctions in the words to use when talking to elders and when talking to someone of your age or younger. For e.g. in Hindi, if I ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the best way of conveying respect to elders in English? [duplicate]

In Afrikaans, it is considered very disrespectful to use "you" ( "jy") when referring to someone who is above the level of a peer. Instead, it is expected that you use "u", which is a very respectful ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

“Mx” the gender-neutral honorific

The gender-neutral honorific “Mx” has its own entry in the OED since August 2015, so no one can argue it doesn't exist. According to The Sunday Times, central and local governments have been quietly ...
12
votes
4answers
15k views

When should titles like “captain” or “admiral” be capitalized?

Please excuse the contrived example below, but I am wondering if this example is properly capitalised? I'm assuming that capitals are used when addressing someone directly, but lower case is used ...
10
votes
2answers
860 views

Ad­dress­ing boys and girls dif­fer­ently in (Vic­to­rian?) English schools

In Jane Eyre by Char­lotte Brontë I read: “Burns” (such it seems was her name: the girls here were all called by their sur­names, as boys are else­where)... So my ques­tion is: were there (or ...
10
votes
4answers
26k views

“Mom and Dad” vs “Dad and Mom” [duplicate]

I'm curious if the order implies anything here. I'm pretty sure "Mom and Dad" is standard in English. The issue was hard for me to google, so I'm asking it here: Is using "Dad" before "Mom" incorrect,...
8
votes
4answers
13k views

How to indicate possession when using abbreviation “Dr.”

I often run into a case where I need to say I have a doctor's appointment, but how would I properly punctuate it if I wanted to use the abbreviation Dr. instead of the word doctor? Dr.'s appointment ...
8
votes
5answers
37k views

“Ma'am” or “Miss” in American English? [closed]

Is it common to address a female sales clerk as Miss in the US? What about ma'am? If neither is proper, what would you suggest?
7
votes
6answers
40k views

What do students call their teacher in class? [closed]

Well, years ago I was an English teacher in an English Teaching Institute. In the country I live, students call their teachers by saying "Mr. Teacher" or "Teacher" (literally translated) in schools. ...
7
votes
3answers
203k views

What does “Ms.” stand for? [closed]

In letter writing, there are four different titles to address: Mr. Mrs. Miss. Ms. What does Ms. stand for? Apparently as Mrs. and Miss already stand for female titles, Ms. stood for "...
6
votes
7answers
18k views

Usage of “ladies and gentlemen” to address two people of different sex

It seems to be not quite logical to use the traditional address "ladies and gentlemen" when there are only a single lady and a single gentleman in the room, not counting for the person who is speaking....
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there any reason why English doesn’t add respectful words in every sentence? [closed]

My mother tongue, Korean, and its neighbor Japanese have postpositions for expressing honoring the opposite in each sentence when we say to seniors or strangers if these are younger than the speaker. ...
5
votes
3answers
30k views

Salutation for two doctors (not married)

Does use of the salutation Dear Drs. Apple and Banana, imply that Dr. Apple is married to Dr. Banana? That is, would it be better form to use: Dear Dr. Apple and Dr. Banana, when Dr. Apple ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How should title and suffix appear when writing last name first?

It's common in business to list persons in order of last-name-first. Instead of "John W. Van Dyk", write "Van Dyk, John W.". But what should be the convention when the name has a title or suffix. ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

When did English-speakers start and stop using foreign language honorifics? [closed]

Around the middle of the twentieth century, it was usual for English speakers to refer to people from certain non-English speaking countries with honorifics in their native language, rather than ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What would be a gender neutral form of address as a highschool teacher? (British English)

In the UK, it's very common for secondary school teachers to be referred to as one of the following: Sir/Miss Miss/Mrs/Mr Surname This would be both when the students are talking about the teacher, ...
3
votes
4answers
29k views

When is it appropriate to refer to someone as Dr. [Surname]?

I know that the title Dr. is often used to refer to those who practice medicine. For example, today I am going to see Dr. [Surname]. But are we in general expected to use the title when we refer to ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

When addressing my 'Sensei', should I omit the possessive “my”?

In English, when (if ever) is it appropriate to use the possessive with a formal title when addressing someone? Kind of like I would say, "As you wish, my greatest of loves." For example, Thank ...
3
votes
1answer
911 views

19th C forms of address

In the early 19th C. when the eldest daughter married, did the second oldest daughter become the "Miss Whatever," or did she continue to be identified as "Miss Whoever Whatever?'
3
votes
1answer
273 views

How would one address a female priest in the Anglican Community?

How would one address a female priest in the Anglican Community? What do you call a female priest in the Episcopal church?
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are doctors addressed as Mr. in the UK?

In the US most physicians, surgeons and dentists are addressed as "doctor". Very few other professionals receive the same title. In the UK, however, surgeons and dentists seem to prefer to be ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Adding Mr/Ms/Mrs to a signature [closed]

Suppose one has an unusual or foreign name, or a name which traditionally belongs to the other gender. Is it inappropriate to add one's title (i.e. Mr/Ms/Mrs) to the signature of a letter/email so as ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Can “Mrs” be used before the name of a spouse who keeps her maiden surname? [duplicate]

For example, Donald Trump's wife changed her name from Melania Knauss to Melania Trump when she was married, adopting her husband's surname. In this case, Melania can be referred to as "Mrs. Trump" ...
3
votes
4answers
530 views

“two President Roosevelts” or “two Presidents Roosevelt?” Pluralize the honorific or the name?

If you have two people with the same name, affixed with the same honorific, do you pluralize the honorific or the name? For example, There were two President Roosevelts. There were two ...
2
votes
3answers
18k views

Addressing a former office-holder by that office's title [closed]

When is it appropriate to use an "expired" honorific to address or refer to a person? In the U.S., former state governors are occasionally referred to as "Governor So-and-so", although they have not ...
2
votes
1answer
261 views

Doctor Jekyll (Ph.D.), I presume

I am writing an analysis paper (not related to title), and need to introduce someone with a doctorate in English. Do I write "Doctor [name]" or do I use a suffix?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Desk name plate for a PhD holder

I have read the full article in wikipedia and this question, but I am still unclear about this, as I am not a native speaker. A quick Google search did not help either. My brother recently received a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What do you call the process of formally addressing someone by using honorifics?

My native language is Macedonian, and in my language, we have a special term that describes the process of formally addressing someone. The idea is that you treat that person in plural instead of in ...
2
votes
1answer
17k views

What should we call our elder cousin's wife? [closed]

We don’t call our cousins cousin Somebody the way we do with uncles and aunts; we just refer to them by their given name directly. But sometimes we cannot use their name to address them, such as if ...
2
votes
1answer
309 views

Formal title/honorific for a lawyer

Let's say there is a lawyer named Sue Smith. She could be referred to as Ms. Smith, but is there a different formal prepended honorific specific to lawyers? Particularly when addressing one directly.
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How does one address a former UK Prime Minister in a letter? [closed]

More specifically, does the title "The Right Honourable" apply to former PMs as well? Is "Your/Her/His Excellency" used at all? I'm finding several references for how to address current PMs, but I'm ...
2
votes
0answers
165 views

Is it okay to say “Excuse me, Ms.” to get attention from strangers who are women? [closed]

I was wondering that above sentence on title, “Excuse me, Ms.” is rude or not. I’ve watched a video on youtube about English titles, but “Excuse me lady.” is very rude to get attention from women, ...
1
vote
5answers
361 views

I want to refer to Bill Gates on his blog with respect in the comments section

One way to address Bill Gates with respect would be to simply write Sir, but I don't want other readers to get confused about who I'm referring to. How do I refer to him with respect without creating ...
1
vote
2answers
18k views

What is the correct possessive form of “Drs. Smith”?

I want to address two Doctor Smiths via the abbreviation "Drs. Smith"; what is the correct possessive form of that (plural) noun phrase? Is it "Drs. Smith's"? An example sentence: Drs. Smith's ...
1
vote
3answers
39k views

Is it ok to use Er. if a person is engineering degree holder [duplicate]

Its usual that we see doctors use Dr. Title, but I have also seen engineers use title - Er. Is this practise allowed, approved? I have seen few name boards like that in India.
1
vote
1answer
1k views

President of [Country][Name] vs President [Name] of [Country]

I came across the following sentence in The Guardian (emphasis mine): President Vladimir Putin of Russia said the EU was putting pressure on Kiev and organising mass protests against President ...
1
vote
1answer
268 views

How do you address clergy in a given circumstance and manner? [closed]

I want to ask a question about using titles, but I think it is too broad to be asked here. My question is this: under what circumstance and in what manner should you address Christian clergy? Do you ...
1
vote
2answers
9k views

Is “Reverend” a title, honorific, style or merely an adjective

Is it proper to introduce a clergyman as Reverend Johnson or is it more proper to refer to him as the Reverend Mr. Johnson ... or the Reverend Dr. Johnson, as the case may be? "This is Reverend John ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Title vs honorific

The Wikipedia article on honorifics states that Some honorifics act as complete replacements for a name, as "Sir" or "Ma'am", or "Your Honor" I had initially thought that titles generally needed a ...
1
vote
1answer
11k views

Capitalization of honorifics such as “your excellency”, “your majesty”, “your holiness”

When addressing an ambassador, is it I agree with your excellency. or should your, excellency, or both be capitalized? Likewise with "your majesty" and "your holiness".
0
votes
1answer
20k views

First name or last name with “Sir”

If my teacher's first name is Robert and his last name is Dowry, and I have to send him an email, then which of the following will be correct? Dear Sir Dowry, Dear Sir Robert, Dear Sir ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

On the capitalization of familial honorifics

We all know that Mom and Dad are capitalized when used in dialogue as a substitute for a name. But is it the same for big sister, big brother, big sis, and big bro? One example of the sentence would ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Is a student studying towards <a degree> “a <a degree> student”?

For example, I assume a "M.Sc. student" would be a person who hasn't yet obtained a Masters degree? I'm almost sure this is what it means, but not 100% sure, so I'd like to have it verified. (I'm ...
0
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a rule for using or not using the definite article before people’s titles?

The use of the definite article before titles is a confusing area - I always hear “Queen Elizabeth visited” and never “The Queen Elizabeth visited”. But I always hear “The Prince of Wales visited” and ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Is it offensive to call someone as “mister”? [closed]

I watched American TV shows all the time. Sometimes this kind of scene appeared. A: Hi, can I meet Mr. Smith? B: It's Judge Smith or A: Mr. Smith, do you believe........ B: It's Doctor Smith It also ...
0
votes
1answer
603 views

Is there a gender neutral equivalent to mister/miss?

It's fairly common to abbreviate mister/misses/miss as Mr./Mrs./Ms. and I've seen a few people online using Mx. as a gender neutral alternative. Is there a full word that one could use in this case? ...
0
votes
1answer
160 views

Keeping Up with the Joneses, Vocative Edition

TLDR: This question is about vocatives. Is there a rule to explain how to know whether you can drop a person’s name when addessing someone just by their title alone, or whether that form is ...