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Old 06-10-2010, 11:05 AM   #21
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Virtually all the chemistry departments with which I have been associated (including Ivy League and others) or know about have the tradition of their Ph.D. faculty being addressed as "Dr." by their students (certainly not by other faculty and staff).
That has been my experience as well.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:35 AM   #22
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I am somewhat puzzled about tu and usted in Spanish. It appears to me that among the people I have met, usted is gone. Everyone is tu. Suits me fine, but I am trying to be sure I will not step on someone's toes.
Latinos is the US favor the informal tu, especially among people that grew up here or have lived here a long time. Not in Latin America, though, and not everyone here. Between generations folks still tend to the formal, especially when it comes to boyfriend/girlfriend talking to the parents (if they talk at all). My MIL was always ud. Some cultures (Like Colombia) use ud even among families and friends. I usually address someone as ud. and then see how it goes.

Mexican professionals are very title oriented. An engineer would be introduced as “Ingeniero Gonzalez and addressed as Ingeniero, not Señor. This is very important at the Universities and in business.

I still remember the first time someone called me “Sir”. Not as a sign of respect but an indication of aging.

My granddaughter just called me Abuelo yesterday. At least, that’s what it sounded like. If it sticks I’m changing my username...
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:21 PM   #23
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Mexican professionals are very title oriented. An engineer would be introduced as “Ingeniero Gonzalez and addressed as Ingeniero, not Señor. This is very important at the Universities and in business.
I was going to point this out too. I think other places in the world also give titles to engineers (Thailand?? Germany?).

Regarding lawyers, I think the title Lic. is the title used in Mexico and elsewhere south of the border (Lic. is short for licenciado I assume). I also had a Spanish professor in college that didn't have a PhD but was an attorney from Peru or Colombia or somewhere. She referred to herself as Dra. or Doctora, which is a title I believe they use for attorneys in some places in S. America.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:23 PM   #24
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As long as I escape such salutations as "hey, @sshole!" I figure I am ahead of the game.
That's Mr. @sshole...

Working in R&D, I worked with plenty of PhDs, but most were on a first name basis. Only used "Dr." when writing papers and giving presentations at conferences.
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Old 06-10-2010, 03:48 PM   #25
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I was going to point this out too. I think other places in the world also give titles to engineers (Thailand?? Germany?).

Regarding lawyers, I think the title Lic. is the title used in Mexico and elsewhere south of the border (Lic. is short for licenciado I assume). I also had a Spanish professor in college that didn't have a PhD but was an attorney from Peru or Colombia or somewhere. She referred to herself as Dra. or Doctora, which is a title I believe they use for attorneys in some places in S. America.
Licenciado – you sure got that right. In Mexico this is how you address a college graduate – just señor is denigrating. Bachiller for a high school grad. Doctor for an attorney is correct, even though it is not usually a graduate level degree. In some countries, such as Brazil and Venezuela, it is common to address people in public sector positions of authority as Dr. – but that is much more of a “brown-nose” thing.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:26 PM   #26
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Yes, and "sincerely" means you better believe it buddy.

I quit putting salutations on correspondence many years ago in my law practice. I saw a work out lawyer send demand lettesr that started "dear" and ended "yours truly" and the dissonance was a bit much.

A lawyer friend told me about a cease and desist letter his client got from Disney regarding an alleged trademarkviolation. The letterhead had cute pictures of several Disney characters and of course the Mouse Ear logo in a couple of places. It ended with a sincerely yours.

The body of the letter threatened legal dismemberment to the guy,his company and his extended family using the entire resources of Disney Corporation.
The dissonance was more than a bit much
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:26 PM   #27
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I have always been waaaay casual. The only time I become formal is when a doctor enters the examining room and introduces himself as "Doctor XXX." I stick out my hand, smile, and say, "Hi, I am Captain XXX." They usually catch the hint.

I always introduced myself to the passengers by say, "I am XXX XXXXX, the captain assigned to your flight."

I remember a story of a colorful NFL player going through a formal receiving line at a White House function I believe and coming upon Sandra Day O'Conner says, "Hi Sandy!"
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:21 PM   #28
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The only ones that I ever w*rked with (engineering) that were obsessed with titles were the Germans. Much to the amusement of the Brits and Americans, I might add.
This can indeed be greatly amusing. My favorite is the crowd (and I know a few of them) who insist on the full "Herr Doktor Professor" treatment, since only one of those titles would clearly be inadequate to acknowledge their magnificence. They can joke about it with me, but they do really insist on it in most situations.

As for me, I have never liked titles and don't use them. Once I retired, I haven't even bothered to use them for others. It really burns me up when I need to register on a website and they insist on making me use one of their salutations. In those cases, I always pick the most pretentious one available.

I was a fairly high ranking military officer, and I have a doctorate, but you would never under any circumstances see me letting anyone know about those titles. A short form of my first name is the only thing I let people call me.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:06 PM   #29
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This can indeed be greatly amusing. My favorite is the crowd (and I know a few of them) who insist on the full "Herr Doktor Professor" treatment, since only one of those titles would clearly be inadequate to acknowledge their magnificence. They can joke about it with me, but they do really insist on it in most situations.
Even here in Canada we have some stupid titles. A friend was a judge of the Queen's Bench court. I don't know the US equivalent, but it is only outranked by the Court of Appeal and Canada's Supreme Court. All cases of any consequence are heard there.

One day when he entered the room (and this will give you and idea of how long ago it was) I said "here come de judge, oops that's Mr. Justice Smith". His response (using the sarcasm font) was "that's The Honourable Mr. Justice Smith". It was the proper title for his position.

Personally I ignore titles. If someone calls me Mr. Kumquat, I look around to see who's addressing my long deceased father. My doctor's name is Carl and my dentist is Don.

My former mega-corp was Canadian but has a large US presence (a few thousand employees). I noticed my US counterparts always addressed or referred to the executives as Mr. X. The Canadians always used first names only. Cultural thing I guess.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:31 PM   #30
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Thinking back, we would also address professors by saying "Professor Smith" as often as "Dr Smith". Or as Professor Smith if they didn't hold a doctorate.
Funny how customs vary from place to place. In the U.K., professorships are the senior academic rank and are relatively rare, 'chaired' positions: so anyone who has reached that grade usually wants to be called "Professor Smith". A mere Lecturer, Senior Lecturer or Reader would be addressed as "Dr. Jones".

And of course in England a surgeon is addressed as "Mr." and (if thin-skinned) would be mildly insulted to be called "Dr.": which would imply that he is a lowly GP.

I assume that we all have Debrett's Correct Form in our personal libraries, but for those who don't here is a summary: Forms of Address | The authoritative guide to Addressing People.

P.S. "I am a doctor and I want my sausages".
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:37 PM   #31
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When I was in college, I never heard any professor addressed any other way than Dr. ____. Has that changed in the intervening 33 years?

OTOH, in the megacorp R&D lab I worked in it would have been considered just as gauche to address somebody as Dr. ____ as it would have been to drive a flashy car.

Funny though, correspondence from strangers was different. On the rare occasions that I received business letters from strangers, they would almost always be addressed to Dr. IP. I never knew if I should correct that error or not.

It turns out that many of our friends are professors at UT, but I can't imagine addressing them with anything other than their first names.

Calling Miss Manners...
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:51 PM   #32
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When I was a young naval officer, the men in my division all called me "Mr. Gumby" or "DCA" (which was my job title) and I called them all "Petty Officer _____". I knew all of their first names, and their nicknames, but I would never have called them by anything other than their rate and last name.

They were constantly trying to learn my first name. It was quite amusing. I recall one conversation that went like this:

"Mr. Gumby, what's your first name?"

-- "Lieutenant"

'Well, what does your wife call you?"

-- "Sir"
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:53 PM   #33
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Somehow I doubt Mrs Gumby calls you sir, unless you are in big trouble.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:37 PM   #34
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... or "DCA"
You just gained an extra 50 sympathy/respect/hard-knocks points...

One of my XOs liked to personalize his training talks with examples of actual sailors & officers, but he didn't want to make people feel as if they were being made fun of or put on the spot. So his studiously protocol-correct and professionally formal, yet hapless, training examples were titled Petty Officer Schmuckatelli and Ensign Schmeckel.

When I first heard those terms I blew coffee a couple feet out of my nostrils. Apparently I was one of the few onboard who knew some Yiddish. Lucky for me they didn't rename the ensign.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:01 AM   #35
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In the Canadian navy, "Ordinary Seaman Bloggins" is the usual pseudonym.

The RAF has long relied upon Pilot Officer Prune as its bad example.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:40 AM   #36
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Old 06-11-2010, 11:43 AM   #37
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Honorifics and titles cost nothing to use and I dispense them freely. I start out formally with people I don't know well. "Doctor" for professors and MDs. My daughter's elementary school teachers were "Miss Smith" even though they were 20 years my junior.
Police officers are "Officer Jones" unless I can read the rank. It's not sucking up, it's just an acknowledgment of the position of authority and responsibility occupied by the individual, and it sets the proper tone for whatever interaction we are about to have. Showing disrespect to cops doing a tough job demonstrates a lack of courtesy, a lack of self control, and a lack of any perception of what is in your real self-interest.
I never use my military rank (ret), and I don't mention my former rank socially or among business associates unless specifically asked. It's gauche.
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:11 PM   #38
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Honorifics and titles cost nothing to use and I dispense them freely. I start out formally with people I don't know well. "Doctor" for professors and MDs. My daughter's elementary school teachers were "Miss Smith" even though they were 20 years my junior.
Police officers are "Officer Jones" unless I can read the rank. It's not sucking up, it's just an acknowledgment of the position of authority and responsibility occupied by the individual, and it sets the proper tone for whatever interaction we are about to have. Showing disrespect to cops doing a tough job demonstrates a lack of courtesy, a lack of self control, and a lack of any perception of what is in your real self-interest.
I never use my military rank (ret), and I don't mention my former rank socially or among business associates unless specifically asked. It's gauche.
Me too, except that I would like to see the accepted forms of address revert back to using military rank for commissioned officers, including retirees.
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Old 06-11-2010, 12:56 PM   #39
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You just gained an extra 50 sympathy/respect/hard-knocks points...

One of my XOs liked to personalize his training talks with examples of actual sailors & officers, but he didn't want to make people feel as if they were being made fun of or put on the spot. So his studiously protocol-correct and professionally formal, yet hapless, training examples were titled Petty Officer Schmuckatelli and Ensign Schmeckel.

When I first heard those terms I blew coffee a couple feet out of my nostrils. Apparently I was one of the few onboard who knew some Yiddish. Lucky for me they didn't rename the ensign.
Excellent, Yiddish is cool.
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:48 PM   #40
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One of my XOs liked to personalize his training talks with examples of actual sailors & officers, but he didn't want to make people feel as if they were being made fun of or put on the spot. So his studiously protocol-correct and professionally formal, yet hapless, training examples were titled Petty Officer Schmuckatelli and Ensign Schmeckel.

Oy vey!
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