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Politeness

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Kent Wang, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. Violinist

    Violinist Well-Known Member

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    Why? If I spent all that time in school, I'd insist on being called Dr. as well. Hell, I DID spend that much time in school and still, all I have to show for it is a Bachelor's. Think of it this way, at least the Dr. isn't insisting on calling you plebian.

    my parents are both physicians, my mother spent an enormous amount of time in medical school and has several areas of expertise in medicine, making her much more qualified than most doctors. They also come from an ultra conservative background and still they think it's pretensious to correct people who call them Mr. or even by their first name.
     
  2. Hanseat

    Hanseat Well-Known Member

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    What's cool when you have a doctorate is that you get to book your tickets for flights for Dr. XYZ. I've seen how that helps to get an update or at least the staff is a tad more respectful (I don't have a doctorate yet, so only observations from travelling with people who have...). In fact I only found out that a friend's father is Prof. Dr. after more than a year when I saw a business card somewhere. Even when he's on TV he only goes by his name and his business function. Oh Bob, I couldn't help but do a quick google and came up with that: [​IMG] You've got some explaining/ updating to do (seersucker anyone): Hat and jacket in a closed room... [​IMG]
     
  3. SGladwell

    SGladwell Well-Known Member

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    Why? If I spent all that time in school, I'd insist on being called Dr. as well. Hell, I DID spend that much time in school and still, all I have to show for it is a Bachelor's. Think of it this way, at least the Dr. isn't insisting on calling you plebian.

    I think Fok will confirm it, but that gets old after the first three weeks. Outside of formal settings, the only time the title is of any use in the US is on airplane tickets.

    One earns a doctorate because one is very interested in pushing the boundaries of knowledge in a given subject. Or, because compared to many other jobs the lot of the academic is fairly secure and allows plenty of free time. [​IMG] Simply wanting the title does not at all make it worth the effort.

    But my favorite titlemongers are the Austrians. A family friend has two doctorates and teaches at the University of Vienna. His door plaque reads "Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. [name]." I shit you not.
     
  4. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    I think Fok will confirm it, but that gets old after the first three weeks. Outside of formal settings, the only time the title is of any use in the US is on airplane tickets.

    One earns a doctorate because one is very interested in pushing the boundaries of knowledge in a given subject. Or, because compared to many other jobs the lot of the academic is fairly secure and allows plenty of free time. [​IMG] Simply wanting the title does not at all make it worth the effort.

    But my favorite titlemongers are the Austrians. A family friend has two doctorates and teaches at the University of Vienna. His door plaque reads "Herr Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. [name]." I shit you not.

    I think this Teutonic obsession with doctorate titles comes from the fact that noble titles are no longer in effect.
     
  5. javyn

    javyn Well-Known Member

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    sounds about right, LK.
     
  6. SGladwell

    SGladwell Well-Known Member

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    I think this Teutonic obsession with doctorate titles comes from the fact that noble titles are no longer in effect.
    Or at least a way to for the bourgeoisie to compensate during the time when the nobility was in force. I just finished reading a really interesting book that covered a slice of Austrian history when the Hof was very much ascendant, Vienna from shortly before the time of Wilhelm II's first state visit to shortly after Crown Prince Rudolf's suicide. In that time, it was already customary for people to refer to themselves as "dr. dr." if they had two doctorates, and "dr dr dr" if they had three. The distinction between a garden-variety doctorate holder and someone with a university teaching/research position was also already enshrined. (The Germans, from what I remember, don't do that one so much.)
     
  7. alflauren

    alflauren Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to be called by my first name in person, but in letters? Please. When I applied to college/law school/first jobs, I found it somewhat disrespectful to receive letters from these places addressing me, "Dear Joe." They didn't know me - hell, some even shortened my name from Joseph, even though I didn't do that anywhere on my applications.

    On a sidenote, my best friend and I still get jollies by addressing each other as "doctor." (He's an MD, I'm a JD.)
     
  8. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    I am particularly fond of the Italians' inclination to use personal and professional titles at all times.
     
  9. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Well-Known Member

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    A couple of comments on the title.

    Now that it has been mentioned and I think of it, my supermarket checkers always call me Mr. I like it.

    I don't actually know any physicians, but all of the PhD's that I know laugh (heartily) and roll their eyes at people expecting others to call them doctor. Maybe it's because so many people we know are, that it just seems pretentious (sp?). I actually prefer the title Professor. To me anyway, it makes it much more clear that I teach.

    There is actually a secondary reason for not putting Dr on official things like airline tickets. People assume you are a physician and can be very very rude if they learn you are not. It sounds like a joke, but people do have that attitude of "but you're not a real doctor." Check the etymology folks. "[Middle English, an expert, authority, from Old French docteur, from Latin doctor, teacher, from docre, to teach. See dek- in Indo-European Roots.]"

    And, finally, cut me some slack, I put the jacket and hat on inside just for the photo. [​IMG]

    bob
     
  10. kennethpollock

    kennethpollock Well-Known Member

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    A number of firms, including Sierra Trading Post, Overstock.com and Open Table set their computers to respond by calling their customers by their first name.
    As you would expect from me, a French snob-like, I have complained. I got absolutely no-where as the result of a 1/2 hour chat with the President of STP, but its computer now addresses me as me "Pollock," as does the computer at Overstock (but Mr. would be better). The latter also gave me a $10 credit for being overly familiar with and disrespectful to a 65 year-old lawyer with whom it was not a close friend. It said that it did not "intend to disrespect" me.
    Is "disrespect" a verb?
     
  11. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    What about those people who have an Esquire after their names?
     
  12. Margaret

    Margaret Well-Known Member

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    Is "disrespect" a verb?

    No, it's a completely invented variant of 'dis'.

    Wear bespoke, and you will always be addressed appropriately.
     
  13. GreyFlannelMan

    GreyFlannelMan Well-Known Member

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    What about those people who have an Esquire after their names?

    A merchant in the UK sends their catalogs to me with "Esquire" appended to my name. At no point did I inform them that I am, in fact, an attorney. What is the appropriate use outside of legal circles?
     
  14. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    A merchant in the UK sends their catalogs to me with "Esquire" appended to my name. At no point did I inform them that I am, in fact, an attorney. What is the appropriate use outside of legal circles?
    Some non-lawyers like to add it for prestige apparently.
     
  15. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I'll agree with SGladwell and Rdawson on this one. I've been called doctor exactly twice. The first time was after my defense, by my committee members, in congratulations. The second was by my father, also in the context of congratulating me. At professional conferences, among complete strangers, I am always introduced by my first name (sometimes my full name), as is everyone else. Anyone insisting on being called doctor would be the butt of jokes, and no one would use the title in a non-sarcastic fashion in any case. Noble Laureates and certain older professors can get away with insisting on the "Professor" title, but only the most pretentious do, and they are still the butt of jokes.

    It does get old quick. Most of my friends have doctorates or are getting them imminently, so insisting on the title would sort of be like insisting that you be called "Champ" because you won a spelling bee.

    My brother is a physician (yes, I know that physicians adopted the title to give themselves more legitimacy, but to me, physicians are "real" doctors), and I guess that his patients call him doctor, but it would be pretentious for him to insist on being called doctor as well. I'd have to give him a quick and sharp smack upside the head if I heard him doing this.

    Edit: On the rare occasion that I have gotten attitude from airline people, I have let drop that I am at Harvard (although I fail to mention that I am a peon). Remarkable what judicious name dropping can accomplish.
     
  16. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    Edit: On the rare occasion that I have gotten attitude from airline people, I have let drop that I am at Harvard (although I fail to mention that I am a peon). Remarkable what judicious name dropping can accomplish.

    Do tell.

    Jon.
     
  17. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Well-Known Member

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    A childhood friend's father was an MD, who also had earned a PhD in something. He insisted we call him "Doctor Doctor". I'm not kidding. Pompous ass. Even to a ten-year-old.
     
  18. Aus_MD

    Aus_MD Well-Known Member

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    The latter also gave me a $10 credit for being overly familiar with and disrespectful to a 65 year-old lawyer with whom it was not a close friend. It said that it did not "intend to disrespect" me.
    Is "disrespect" a verb?


    From the OED
     
  19. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    My favorite are the Spanish aristocrats with their multi-tiered titles such as the Duchess of Alba who is 20 times a Grandee of Spain to boot:

    María del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, Duquesa de Alba y de Berwick; de Montoro, de Liria y JÃ[​IMG]rica, de Arjona, de Híjar, condesa-duquesa de Olivares, marquesa de San Vicente del Barco, de El Carpio, de Coria, de Eliache, de la Mota, de San Leonardo, de Sarria, de Villanueva del Rio, de Tarazona, de Villanueva del Fresno, de Barcarrota, de la Algaba, de Osera, de Moya, de Almenara, de Valdunquillo y de Mirallo, condesa de Lemos, de Lerín, condestable de Navarra, de Monterrey, de Osorno, de Miranda del Castañar, de Palma del Rio, de Aranda, de Salvatierra, de Andrade, de Ayala, de Fuentes de Valdepero, de Gelves de Villalba, de san Esteban de Gormaz, de Fuentidueña, de Casarrubios del Monte, de Galve, de Santa Cruz de la Sierra y Ribadeo , vizcondesa de la Calzada, marquesa de Oraní
     
  20. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone insisting on being called doctor would be the butt of jokes, and no one would use the title in a non-sarcastic fashion in any case.

    We actually had a prof in grad school who tried it once. My friend addressed him by his first name and was told "Call me Dr. ___". My friend quite literally laughed at him.


    My brother is a physician (yes, I know that physicians adopted the title to give themselves more legitimacy, but to me, physicians are "real" doctors)

    Damnit. At least it's better than lawyers calling themselves doctor. [And thus opens the can of worms and possibly the flamethrowers.]


    bob
     

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