Sunday, June 17, 2007

This gives you three years' notice

I'm completely fascinated by the discussion going on in the comments of Tomato Nation over addressing letters to "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith." (Note: you will never get me addressing letters using that convention.) But it also got me to thinking ahead to three years from now, when I receive the title of "Dr."

What will you call the two of us, formally speaking, when I'm Dr. [Ourlastname]? A lot of the conventions are built around the assumption that only men have the Dr. title. (Of course, we're most comfortable as "Chris and Maryanne Ourlastname") There's part of me that really really looks forward to letters addressed to "Dr. and Mr. Ourlastname." Also, will someone please commit to referring to Chris solely as "Mr. Dr. Ourlastname*," in the style of "Mrs. Dr. Blythe"?
(Okay, while Chris is looking forward to being "Dr. and Mr." or "Mr. and Dr.," he's not so sure what he thinks about "Mr. Dr.")

*where you substitute our actual last name for "Ourlastname"


LynnieC said...

I'm so going to start calling him Mr. Dr. Dear.

Life&Times said...

I believe the formal convention for your (our) situation is stickier than you'd think... because in "formal" ettiquette, we PhDs are not addressed as Dr! Appalling, right? It's technically reserved for M.D.s

However, if you _were_ to give the PhD it's proper due, you would be

Mr. Christopher and Dr. Queen YourLastName

Queen of West Procrastination said...

What? Okay, I apparently have no idea about formal address. All I know is that a prof that I know gets all his bills addressed to Dr. Vic Hislastname.

LynnieC said...

If Wikipedia is to be believed (which it most often is not) then in countries recently linked to the UK (so Canada, Australia, South Africa) it is okay to call yourself Dr. in all situations except for ones in which you might be mistaken for an actual medical doctor.
It might be different in the US, or Wikipedia might be full of lies (which I don't doubt) but I want to call you Dr. Yourlastname, so I'm looking for proof that it's okay.

LynnieC said...

Wait. I'm dumb. That should read "in countries recently linked to the UK (so Canada, Australia) and in South Africa..."

Whatever. Just go read it yourself Maryanne. I can't do all your dirty work for you.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Thanks, Lynniec! And that makes sense: from what I can tell (at least in the parts of Canada where I've lived), "Dr." seems to be a term of formal address for PhDs.

Anonymous said...

oh oh, anne of green gables! i like mr. dr. dear myself.

trillwing said...

Mr. Trillwing has an e-mail address under the name "Mister Doctor Trillwing." It's lovely, especially since he uses my last name instead of his.

We have yet to receive an envelope that reads "Mr. and Dr," so don't get your hopes up.

Around here, it's OK to address PhDs as "Doctor," though "Professor," being the rarer title (tenure-track jobs are far fewer than doctorates), is usually the preferred form of address.

At an upcoming tech-n-teaching symposium, I'll address the audience once each day (for four days) in segment called "Ask Dr. Leslie." I (jokingly) insisted on the Dr. because, in my words, "I don't get to roll it out enough." But the name stuck. I hope people don't think I'm pretentious.