Author Topic: addressing envelopes  (Read 5079 times)

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Redneck Gravy

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2012, 10:25:26 AM »

I can't manage to snip quotes correctly, so I just bolded the section I wanted to talk about.

This is actually a huge fight within my extended family.  We have a number of Ph.D's, J.D.'s, Psy.D's and one M.D. within the family ranks. Some of them are married to each other.  Some are the women married to the non-doctorial-degreed men and vice-versa. We can't come to an agreement on the proper way to formally address anything.
[/quote]

Yes, this was a frequent discussion around my office at the printing company as well...even with calls to the library and etiquette book consultation.  Men don't seem to lose their titles but once a woman marries she is Mrs.   ::)  that may have been true in older times but I don't see it being acceptable in today's world.

I also question the need to put initials after someone's name just for the sake of putting them there.  John Smith, J.D.    Jane Smith, Psy.D.    we don't write John Smith, B.A.  or Jane Smith, A.A.S. There has to be some line, somewhere to limit the use of letters behind one's name.   

Here's one I was told during a summer working for a physician: Dr. John Smith (is not a medical doctor but perhaps holds a doctorate in mathmatics) but John Smith, M.D. designates him as a medical doctor - but never use Dr. John Smith, M.D.   Anyone told/taught differently?

WillyNilly

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2012, 10:37:01 AM »
I was taught, and believe, its quite unacceptably rude to drop anyone's title, and the higher the title the more precedence it takes.  Its easier to become a wife then a Dr for example, so a married [female] Dr is always Dr, not Mrs. So it would Mr & Dr Smith. 

And you know what?  Even if this isn't "correct" or formal or whatnot, it just seems nice and I can't imagine anyone complaining.  The non-Dr retains the same title either way, so they haven't got a dog in the fight, so it comes down to the doctor themselves, and really I don't know any doctor who is ever upset being addressed by their hard earned Dr title.

...Here's one I was told during a summer working for a physician: Dr. John Smith (is not a medical doctor but perhaps holds a doctorate in mathmatics) but John Smith, M.D. designates him as a medical doctor - but never use Dr. John Smith, M.D.   Anyone told/taught differently?

Either one can be Dr John Smith.  But only the medical doctor can be John Smith MD.  And of course you'd never write Dr John Smith MD - that's the literary equivalent of wearing a belt and suspenders - redundant and silly looking  ;)

msulinski

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2012, 10:52:37 AM »
I've read several etiquette books, and none of them have ever mentioned the "don't separate a man's first name from his last" idea.

They have ALL mentioned "ladies first" as a rationale for things like "Gina and Bob Smith."

Interestingly, the book Honor & Respect: The Official Guide to Names, Titles, and Forms of Address by Robert Hickey, deputy director of the Protocol School of Washington, says to use "Bob and Gina Smith."

I think that teenagers are probably attuned to the "don't call me Mrs. John Smith" attitude (teenagers, in my experience, have a very heightened sensitivity to "fairness") and feel that they don't know all the rules. So I can totally see them picking the simplest thing.

It isn't just teenagers that object to the "Mrs. John Smith" addressing. My wife (34 years old) objects as well. I am not a fan of it either, though it doesn't directly affect me. The concept is clearly sexist, as it suggests that the woman is property of her husband. I would be happy to see this get phased out.

mbbored

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2012, 10:59:08 AM »
As to the doctor appellation, I was told that only MDs are allowed to be addressed as "Dr." socially. That being said, in my own family there's a number of women with PhDs who are married to men without advanced degree. More informal mail like Christmas cards is sent to "Jane and John Smith" or "The Smith Family." Formal mail, like wedding invitations, is addressed to "Dr. Jane and Mr. John Smith" or "Dr. Jane Smith and Mr. John Smith."

When it comes to whether or not a woman is "Mrs. John Smith" my very formal former debutante of a grandmother addresses mail to women who take their husbands' names as "Mrs. John Smith" unless they're widowed or divorced, in which case they become "Mrs. Jane Smith" again.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2012, 11:00:56 AM »

Either one can be Dr John Smith.  But only the medical doctor can be John Smith MD.  And of course you'd never write Dr John Smith MD - that's the literary equivalent of wearing a belt and suspenders - redundant and silly looking  ;)

Thank you, that is what I was told also.   One in a row I get right!   ;D

I know a tennis player that always registers for tennis tournaments as John Smith, M.D.   he's earned that title and I personally don't care how he registers but some of the other players have rolled their eyes.  There are several doctors and dentists that play but he is the only one that registers with his M.D. 

momof2weenies

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #35 on: November 06, 2012, 05:54:52 PM »
When I was growing up my grandpa and my aunt would send letters to us addressed to our dog.  That meant the letter was for the whole family. 

This made me laugh out loud  ;D
"Dachshunds are like potato chips. You can never have just one."

TootsNYC

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2012, 06:23:03 PM »

I also question the need to put initials after someone's name just for the sake of putting them there.  John Smith, J.D.    Jane Smith, Psy.D.    we don't write John Smith, B.A.  or Jane Smith, A.A.S. There has to be some line, somewhere to limit the use of letters behind one's name.   

Here's one I was told during a summer working for a physician: Dr. John Smith (is not a medical doctor but perhaps holds a doctorate in mathmatics) but John Smith, M.D. designates him as a medical doctor - but never use Dr. John Smith, M.D.   Anyone told/taught differently?

The answer is, socially you never use initials. Those are *professional* credentials, and they only appear where they are relevant.

To use them otherwheres (like at a tennis tournament) is pretentious. It's also not polite to refer to yourself by a title ("hello, I'm Dr. Jane Smith") in places where that title distinction isn't important--and even in the hospital, you would properly say, "Hello, I'm Jane Smith, the surgeon/anesthesiologist/endocrinologist/attending physician."

And the only reason you use "Dr." for an M.D. is the same reason you use things like "Lieutenant" in front of only certain officers--it's considered a permanent part of your identity. Why that doesn't count for stuff like other doctoral degrees is sort of leftover from old prejudices. And perhaps from the idea that an M.D. can hold people's very lives in his hand, unlike a Ph.D. (normally).

mstigerlily

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Re: addressing envelopes
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2012, 07:18:17 PM »
When I was growing up my grandpa and my aunt would send letters to us addressed to our dog.  That meant the letter was for the whole family. 

This made me laugh out loud  ;D

That's nothing. Our cat used to send us holiday cards (addressed to the "lastname" family, btw). Of course, she signed them in the same handwriting as a good friend of our family's...